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Where your rent goes

Accommodation is a major cost to students and it is important to know how your rent is being spent.

The rent that you pay for your on-campus room enables us to provide a range of essential housing services, vital to the safety and comfort of all residents.

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The graph above shows that in 2021/22 student payments for accommodation was £43.7m against a cost to provide accommodation of £54.1m. This means that the cost of accommodation to the University is more than we received in rents, and this will be the case again this year and in future years.

The University does not generate a surplus on our student accommodation. We do in fact make a loss. The University provides a net subsidy to student accommodation; to ensure we maintain our commitment to provide varied price bands and rooms that suit all requirements.

We have included a graph below that shows the breakdown of how rent was spent in the academic year 2021/22. We also have this in text format below the graph.

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You may have questions about this breakdown - we have detailed explanations for each section.

Not all residential accommodation on campus is owned by the University. We work closely with Student Accommodation Providers who finance the development, then subsequently own and manage (for a specified period of time) the accommodation. The University has contractual obligations with these third party providers to review and increase rents where appropriate, by a minimum percentage each year or in line with inflation. To meet our obligations, and to cover the increase in overall accommodation expenditure, the 2023/24 rent for on-campus accommodation will increase overall by 6%. In addition we pay ground rent on the land that some of our colleges are built on.

You will see from the breakdown that a significant proportion of rent is assigned to depreciation. Depreciation is a cost to the University, but is not a cash payment. The monetary value of a building decreases over time due to use, wear and tear etc. This decrease is measured as depreciation. For example, a residence is built for cash at a cost of £50m, and is expected to be used for 50 years, therefore £1m per year is shown in depreciation to account for the true cost per year.  The depreciation charge includes initial construction costs plus the utility infrastructure, roofs, windows, kitchens, bathrooms, IT infrastructure, etc.

The costs of water, sewerage, electricity, gas and heat in our accommodation. We have seen a significant increase year on year is driven by more activity on campus and significantly higher fuel costs.

All repairs and maintenance works that have been carried out on a residential building must be paid for. Can be anything from planned improvements to reactive work.

Students on catered packages pay for this through their rent which is paid over to the catering team who provide the service. This includes the costs of the food itself, the staff costs to prepare and serve and the running costs of the outlets (cleaning, maintenance, equipment etc). Again, we have seen a year on year increase due to higher staff costs as a result of the university introducing the Real Living Wage, plus a higher cost of goods.

The staff and operating costs of delivering these services for the residential accommodation. The introduction of the Real Living Wage increased costs against the previous year.

The accommodation team provides services including the allocation of student accommodation, forecasting application levels to ensure that the University meets guarantees, issues tenancy agreements, arranges rental payment, helps to resolve complaints, helps applicants at Open days, helps students with adjustment needs etc.

This covers the ongoing running costs and maintenance of the wired and wireless network for accommodation. This does not include costs for renewals, infrastructure upgrades, cyber security etc which is budgeted elsewhere.

These costs were incurred by the University as we supported first year students who were accommodated temporarily in Hull / Leeds for the first term of 2021.

This includes costs for college staff, together with costs for student welfare services which are provided to students living in University accommodation.

Bursaries support students who require financial support, usually relating to personal circumstances, and are predominantly spent on accommodation fees.