Student accommodation is undergoing a revolution that any Che Guevara wanna-be would be proud of. While the just-expired undergraduate sitcom Fresh Meat perpetuated the 'grotty digs' image (and those old enough can hark back to the rather unwholesome North London setting of The Young Ones), today's students have the pick of more salubrious studios, flats and house shares.
Purpose-built student accommodation is big business for tenants and investors - evidenced in cities such as Coventry and Bristol. For undergraduates there is the promise of fit-for-purpose flats without a queue for the bathroom and peeling wallpaper.
For investors, there are good returns and a never-ending supply of student tenants, many of whom have parental guarantors.
Student accommodation in London has always been driven by the remarkable property stock. Many of Camden Town and Kentish Town's large period properties making excellent house shares, although many have been divided up into self-contained lets that are perfect for students. There's also a generous dose of new build apartments that make safe and secure places to call home during term time.
The emphasis is very much on style and location - more delightful than dingy. That means no damp, no 1970s carpets and no bare light bulbs.
Students today expect a high level of finish, design-led items of furniture, and new kitchens and bathrooms - all bundled up with transport connections on the doorstep and a lively social scene. Luckily, in North West London, landlords are only too happy to oblige.
From the outside, the blocks look indistinguishable from residential flats, except for the giveaway branding that promises a “boutique” or “luxury” student experience.