How rents are set
Information about how accommodation prices are set by the University.
The University of York works closely with our Student Unions (YUSU and GSA) each year to discuss setting rents across all of our Colleges. The rent you pay includes: heating, water, electricity, high speed internet, and 24/7 security among other items. You can find out more information about this breakdown on our dedicated web page Where your rent goes. We have published our Fair Rent Principles to explain how we set our rents for our student accommodation and what the cost is to the University.
Rent on all rooms is usually set to keep pace with inflation. This helps both the University, and its accommodation partners, generate sufficient income to cover the increasing cost of maintaining and managing the accommodation. When setting our rents we also compare the price of accommodation in other similar Universities, the price of renting private purpose-built student accommodation in the City, and the price of private sector housing in the City let to students.
We are committed to providing different price bands to accommodate student choice and ensure there are rooms available that suit all requirements.
Fair rent principles
The University’s founding principles are excellence, equality and opportunity for all. We believe that education offers a lifelong transformative impact and we want as many people as possible who can benefit from an education at York to do so. We have worked closely with both YUSU and the GSA in developing a rent affordability policy that is underpinned by the following principles:
- Financial Sustainability
- Quality of Service
We appreciate that the major cost taken on by students at the University relates to their accommodation fees. This fact frames our approach to setting rents.
How we set fair and transparent rent
- Rents will be set annually that take into account issues of affordability both to our students and to the University.
- Rents will be set one year ahead of the next academic year.
- In setting rents, the University will need to meet its contractual obligations to its accommodation provider partners.
- Through the University Rents Group, the University works collaboratively with YUSU and GSA representatives to assess the viability of a range of rent setting options.
- The University Rents Group consults and considers rental policies and makes recommendations to the University’s Executive Board (UEB) on rent setting. UEB has executive accountability for setting rents and makes the final decision.
- Rents will be compared against the local York market and other Universities to allow this information and the current Retail Price Index to inform the rent setting process.
- A structured ladder of rent offers will be provided with a transparent pricing structure that reflects the difference in those rental offers.
- Accommodation is run on a financially sustainable basis, continuing to provide a high-quality service throughout the life of the building, considering the full economic cost of the capital investment, current price of continued maintenance and management of services.
- Analysis on the income generated, and expenditure incurred in running our accommodation is being developed and will be presented in a series of infographics on the University website.
- Categorisation of room types will provide sufficiently detailed descriptions and budgeting tools in our marketing materials and on our website to allow students to make the most informed decisions.
- Bursaries will be on offer to students most in need of financial assistance, in alignment with the commitments set out in our Access, Participation and Progress Agreement and to adopt similar principles for Postgraduate students.
Our accommodation offer to students
- Rental packages will be fully inclusive to include wifi, IT access, utility costs, cleaning, security and welfare support.
- Catered packages in some Colleges, and College dining nights in other Colleges, will be offered as long as these are considered to be in demand, viable, good value for money and provide a sense of community.
The quality of our accommodation services
- Accommodation will be fit for purpose, appropriately maintained and with and an annual audit of all rooms - whether owned outright, owned with others or owned by others – to identify and make any necessary improvements.
- Minimum standards for accommodation will be clearly explained and issues that are brought to the University’s attention will be rectified in a timely and professional manner, against published response timescales so that our residents know what to expect from us.
Help with costs
Where we can we support students needing financial assistance with their living costs. Each year the University provides bursaries and financial assistance to eligible students. In the 2018/19 academic year more than 3,000 students received a £2,000 contribution towards their rent in University owned or managed accommodation and a £1,100 cash payment in their post-first year to help with private sector payments, around £4.8M in total.
For further accommodation inclusions please see our full list of accommodation online.