Student housing can be awful. These students have come up with a better way.

With the housing market and student finance broken, students across the UK are doing away with landlords and setting up their own not-for-profit housing co-operatives

Co-operative Party


Rat in bathroom

Whether it’s doing battle with rogue landlords or battling rising ramp and broken boilers, student housing can be terrible. Of course, that’s all totally avoidable – as long as you don’t mind stumping up as much as £209.79 per week (that’s £10,868 per year*) for student halls.

So with the housing market broken, and with higher education leaving many students financially broken, students across the country have had enough. They’re turning to co-operatives to create the alternative: housing that they can actually afford, live in, and run themselves.

With financial backup from the Phone Co-op, the first student housing co-operatives are now open in Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh. With no landlord, students there are paying as little as £40 in rent per week, which includes management fees, maintenance allowance and – for those of us stuck with avocado bathrooms and splattered kitchens – a full refurb every 15 years.

Here’s the latest from 805 Pershore Rd, Birmingham – the first student co-operative house in the UK

Applications are now open for Birmingham Student Housing Co-op- click for details

*The government’s maintenance loan is £10,702 for London-based students, and £8,200 for those living outside London. You’ll need help from parents, a job or a student overdraft if you want to eat. Oh, and forget about student grants – the government are cutting those.