Student Accommodation Awards judges refuse to pick a winner because rent is too high - and write this damning note


If you've been to university you may remember the unenviable task of trawling round looking for accommodation that was clean, safe and didn't break the bank.

Not that easy, is it?

When this year's panel of judges were asked to choose a winner for Property Weeks' Student Accommodation Awards, they decided none of the options were affordable enough.

Jenny Killin, a welfare officer at Aberdeen Students' Association, posted her joint letter to the official awards body on Twitter to explain that instead of crowning a winner, they would be declining to vote.

The letter said: "Unfortunately none of the entrants could demonstrate that they are meeting the urgent need of students to live in accommodation that will not force them into poverty.

£20 notes
(John Stillwell/PA)

"Most entrants price their cheapest rooms above the national average of £146 per week, and certainly above a level which student maintenance loans reasonably cover. Many charge rents of more than £300 per week."

It added: "High rents are driving the social cleaning of education. Working-class students are being priced out: unable to access higher education altogether, or forced to work long hours, disadvantaging the poorest. We urge all providers to invest in affordable accommodation so that the future of higher education is open to all, regardless of parental income."