What is Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA)?

PBSA is accommodation specifically designed for student living. Such developments deliver spaces where students can live, work and commune with other students.

PBSA development is managed and run by a Student Accommodation Operator who will require residents to agree to certain standards of behaviour and upkeep of the property through their stay.

PBSA in Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s thriving student population currently suffers from an acute shortage of beds. This impact is magnified by the limited pipeline of PBSA developments being brought forward in the city.

Data from Universities Scotland suggests that a large driver of shortages of student accommodation are supply side based. Whilst the private rental sector has traditionally played a part in the student market, recent pressures on housing supply in Edinburgh, as well as reforms to the rental market in Scotland have had the effect of contracting the market.

Data from the Scottish Government’s PBSA Review notes that demand is increasingly high, whilst the response from developers lags behind the demand. Despite this, the Scottish Government argue that private sector led PBSA provides much-needed accommodation for students that universities are unable, or unwilling, to provide, relieving pressure by creating an additional source of supply. This, in turn, relieves pressure on the private rental sector in the city.