Smarter Services go beyond providing the standard university accommodation needs. We believe the most critical factor in keeping student accommodation clean and in good condition is the entire reasoning behind it.
According to the Student Accommodation Survey, 29% of students choose to live in university accommodation when attending university for the first time.
With grades being the primary concern within the University sector, it’s time we provide students with a comfortable and enjoyable living space which, in turn, will improve productivity and overall educational experience. When looking for the right facilities management services for your university accommodation, it is essential to keep the following factors in mind:
Making a change
Almost five times as many students as ten years ago have disclosed a mental health condition to their university, say researchers. (*) – While it’s not entirely up to the standards of living, improving the environment students live in will be a small yet significant step forward.
It is essential for cleaning and facilities staff to be considerate of students when they visit university accommodation; after all, they are entering a communal yet still very personal space. Having the right experience and attitude is vital in such sensitive areas, cleaning areas such as kitchens and bathrooms can potentially feel invasive.
Smarter Services take great care to choose the right staff for these roles and ensure they all have the relevant training. All employees have DBS checks and an introduction to the site ahead of their starting date. We have our own Bics assessor who will carry out the necessary cleaning-specific training on site and give toolbox talks to cleaners on issues pertinent to close communal living.
While it’s a vast improvement since 2017, 1 in 3 students are still left waiting up to a month for maintenance issues to get fixed – If simple repairs go ignored, they can worsen over time, causing stress to students and leaving the current and future residents in the halls disappointed.
Even small areas that require attention, such as a broken lightbulb, can cause issues if not dealt with accordingly. Poor lighting is associated with a range of ill-health effects, both physical and mental, such as eye strain, headaches, fatigue and also stress and anxiety.(*) A facilities management team should be on hand and work together with the University to ensure problems don’t get forgotten or missed. Fixing maintenance troubles efficiently prevents possible complaints from students.
Universities are responsible for repairing all central areas in halls of residence, such as entrance halls, communal kitchens, and living spaces – so, it is important that both the university and facilities management team work together efficiently to give students peace of mind.
It’s in the rulebook.
Universities that provide halls of residence must belong to a government-approved code or licensed by the local authority. (*) The system aims to ensure that students can live safely and comfortably in good quality accommodation.
There are three codes, the first two used by Universities and the last for private sectors. The codes are known as:
- Universities UK/Guild HE Code of Practice for the Management of Student Housing, often known as the Student Accommodation Code.
- Accreditation Network UK (ANUK)/Unipol Code of Standards for Larger Residential Developments for student accommodation managed and controlled by educational establishments.
- ANUK/Unipol Code of Standards for Larger Developments for student accommodation not managed and controlled by educational establishments.
The key priority to having codes of practice is to measure the good management of university accommodation alongside set out guidelines. The standards and expectations include areas such as:
- Repairs and on-going maintenance
- Fire, gas and electrical safety checks and security management of the tenancy/licence complaints.
The codes can be useful for both students peace of mind and a set of guidelines that the university and facilities management team can work towards to ensure best practices.
Smarter Services have previously worked with A2Dominion, winning a seven-year contract to work with over 2,000 units across eight locations in the UK. A2D was impressed with the amount of strategic thinking we brought to the table and the way we could tailor services to specific sites – especially when it came to coordinating workflows to take the pressure off their housing officers, and how we use new technology to increase efficiency over a large contract.
Our managers know the particular needs of property management. We pride ourselves on our ability to deliver regular turnarounds and large-scale deep-cleans, all managed and self-delivered to tight deadlines.
Get in touch today for more information
Find out how we can keep university accommodation and students in good condition all year round.
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Smarter Services will elevate your residential or commercial premises and most importantly, will keep them that way, long-term.