Opening a Website for Student Accommodation in the UK
Finding accommodation for students in the United Kingdom can be a challenging task. Hundreds of thousands of foreign students come to the UK to study in various universities. A website can be a useful tool where students can get information about possible sites for accommodation when they visit the UK for education. To start a website that provides enough information about student accommodation in UK requires an understanding of the various dynamics. They include advisors, compliance systems, and legal obligations on the part of the owners of the website. These elements must be dealt with effectively and sufficiently to ensure that the website is compliant not only with the needs of the students but also the applicable laws in the UK (Bingham, 2009, p. 14). The paper is a report of the advisors who will form the core team for building a website, the compliance systems applicable in the UK including the procedures to get the insurance for a running website, and the legal obligations leading to a valid license to run the website.
Advisors are important part of building a website for students. Websites cost money to build and, therefore, the essence of having financial advisors and accountant to manage the financial resources that go into the building of the website. Also, the business startup for a student accommodation website needs to consider the capital investment and the potential financial viability of the business. The UK has numerous universities that accommodate students on their campuses, but there are also private residents where students can be accommodated to when they are undertaking their studies in the country.
The web designers with necessary skills to design an interactive website are required to advise on the correct and reliable software tools to be included in the website. Modern websites are more interactive with features such live calls and RSS feeds where students who are looking for accommodation can get follow up information once they visit the website. The website should also be optimized in various search engines including Google and Yahoo! to allow students to access the website once they key in keywords (Jowsey 2014, p. 15).
Lawyers will be helpful in ensuring that the information provided on the website is not infringing on other people’s copyright and that all the information put on the website is copyrighted. The lawyers will also advice the website business on how to deal with issues that might be considered misleading and ensure that all the information given through the website is verified before students are directed to a certain accommodation site. The consultants will be utilized during the actual design and development of the website where they will give information about the features that need to be included on the website to attract return users. Consultants will help with the actual physical appearance of the website, the theme color, as well as the photos and videos to be included in the website. Consultants will also advice the web designers on hosting of the website. Some websites are free hosting but this can be challenging in terms of available space and the adverts that appear on the website. The consultants will, therefore, advice the development team not only on hosting but also the best hosting partners who will be given the opportunity to host it (Bingham 2009, p. 22).
2.0 Compliance Systems
A website must comply with the legal policies and regulations in the country on insurance and security of the website and the clients who are given accommodation through the help of the website. As such, the advisors and consultants will develop steps on insurance of the website and the legal requirements which must be followed to ensure that the website is secured. The following procedures will be used to ensure the insurance on the part of the website content as well as the potential customers who acquire accommodation through the website (Jowsey 2014, p.35).
- The first step is to check with the insurance policies in the UK and which are applicable to the website as a form of business dealing in disseminating any news on accommodation places in the country.
- A background checks on the insurance status of the places where accommodation is available and the compliance with applicable policies and regulations.
- Establish measures to ensure the security of the web content by verifying the reliability of the information.
- Website visitors will be required to provide information about age, sex, school where they are studying, health status and the potential insurance covers that they have while in school. The provision of such information will be based on the need to ensure effective service to the people who get accommodation through the website.
3.0 Legal Obligations
Businesses are run under legal obligations enshrined in laws and policies of the country in which they operate. The UK has laws that govern the contact of businesses to ensure that only ethical and legal business activities take place. For the website business, the first compliance activity is to get the license to operate a website business from the relevant authorities. There is a possibility of having more than one authority regulating the website business. The first is the ministry of information which ensures that the information provided through the website meets the minimum threshold of information service providers. The second might be the universities and colleges that admit the students in their faculties. In most cases, universities and colleges have accommodation services for their students. Nonetheless, as the number of students has surged in the recent past, the need for universities collaborating with the private institutions that offer accommodation services might help to ease the problem of accommodation to students in colleges and universities (Williams 2007, p. 45).
The legal obligation also includes the requirements for insurance cover for the information provided through the website as well as the customers who get accommodation through the website. It is also critical that trademarks including the symbols and the name of the website are registered to avoid conflict of interest from other websites that offer different services. As the website business is intending to be independent one year after the website is launched, the need to acquire licenses for ownership of the different software and applications used in the website will be important. The website designers and developers will work with the owners of the software to give the license on ownership of the software and apps. Also, the extension will be given to the videos and pictures and other media used on the website to get copyright ownership and acknowledge the source of the material where it is necessary (Williams 2007, p. 55).
This report offers a discussion on the need to have advisors in the areas of consultancy, website design and development, finance, and law to ensure effective development of a website. The website will be able to offer accommodation related information to students in the UK. The report also explores the steps that will be undertaken to ensure compliance with systems in areas of insurance and security of the website. Legal obligation is explored in the last section and it is agreed that compliance with the applicable policies and regulations on maintaining a website for business in the UK is important to avoid falling into problems with the law. It can also help ensure that customers get the best services from the businesses that offer information as a service to them.