Posts with tag: student landlords

Student buy-to-let investments with the best rental yields in the UK

Published On: August 18, 2020 at 8:11 am


Categories: Landlord News

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Online property management platform Howsy has looked at rental yields nearby the top 50 universities across the UK to determine which areas provide the best buy-to-let opportunities for landlords.

This research looked at the average house prices and average rent prices per month in the outcodes of the top 50 universities to calculate rental yields.

On average, university rental yields sit at 4.4% across the UK, according to the results.

The top three best results can all be found in Scotland. The University of Dundee (DD1) came first, with an average rental yield of 7.2%. Second and third were the University of Aberdeen (AB24) and the University of Strathclyde (G1), with rental yields of 6.8% and 6.62% respectively.

The bottom three are all located in London. Imperial College London (SW7) is last, providing a 1.7% average rental yield. King’s College London and the London School of Economics and Political Science, both in WC2, came joint second to last, at 2.3%.

Founder and CEO of Howsy, Calum Brannan, commented: “Many students will be searching for accommodation now that they know where they stand with their results and this huge influx of demand is very positive news for buy-to-let landlords in uni towns across the UK. 

“Of course, student tenants can have their downfalls, but so can any tenant in the rental space and the pros far outweigh the cons in terms of the carousel of consistent demand and income that they supply. 

“With many of the top universities not only attracting the best students but also providing rental yields way above the UK average, a university buy-to-let could be the key to a profitable investment in what are otherwise tough times for landlords at present.”  

UniversityLocationTop 50 RankOutcodeAverage house priceAverage Rent pmAverage Rental Yield (%)
University of DundeeDundee31DD1£146,000£8767.2%
University of AberdeenAberdeen26AB24£101,035£5766.8%
University of StrathclydeGlasgow36G1£160,147£8836.62%
University of LeicesterLeicester38LE1£121,517£6646.56%
Aston University, BirminghamBirmingham43B4£145,640£7936.5%
University of LeedsLeeds16LS2£138,775£7416.41%
Nottingham Trent UniversityNottingham46NG1£160,099£8526.39%
Newcastle UniversityNewcastle upon Tyne23NE1£154,535£8166.3%
University of LiverpoolLiverpool33L3£143,576£7306.1%
Cardiff UniversityCardiff30CF10£172,917£8435.9%
University of SouthamptonSouthampton18SO17£222,839£1,0075.4%
Queen’s University BelfastBelfast27BT7£187,801£8255.3%
University of NottinghamNottingham21NG7£166,848£7185.2%
University of ManchesterManchester17M13£212,944£9155.2%
University of EdinburghEdinburgh15EH8£235,924£9945.1%
University of WarwickCoventry11CV4£257,287£1,0685.0%
Lancaster UniversityLancaster8LA1£160,721£6324.7%
University of GlasgowGlasgow19G12£287,762£1,0594.4%
University of SurreyGuildford, Surrey34GU2£452,347£1,6644.4%
University of KentCanterbury47CT2£316,166£1,1634.4%
University of East Anglia UEANorwich25NR4£314,704£1,1424.4%
University of EssexColchester41CO4£280,313£9874.2%
University of BirminghamBirmingham13B15£242,675£8344.1%
University of SheffieldSheffield28S10£253,392£8654.1%
University of St AndrewsSt Andrews, Fife3KY16£369,814£1,2484.0%
Heriot-Watt UniversityEdinburgh29EH14£271,789£8913.9%
University of StirlingStirling45FK9£276,179£8953.9%
University of SussexBrighton40BN1£405,533£1,3053.9%
University of CambridgeCambridge1CB2£483,588£1,5413.8%
Swansea UniversitySwansea32SA2£231,500£7303.8%
University of LincolnLincoln50LN6£224,959£6893.7%
University of YorkYork22YO10£280,366£8553.7%
Durham UniversityDurham7DH1£224,494£6833.7%
Queen Mary University of LondonTower Hamlets (London Borough)35E1£603,459£1,8293.6%
Arts University BournemouthBournemouth48BH12£292,209£8763.6%
University of BathBath9BA2£402,848£1,1883.5%
University of OxfordOxford2OX1£486,921£1,4253.5%
University of ExeterExeter12EX4£277,640£8003.5%
Royal Holloway, University of LondonEgham24TW20£469,326£1,3413.4%
Harper Adams UniversityNewport, Shropshire42TF10£280,200£7873.4%
University of ReadingReading39RG6£387,577£1,0853.4%
Loughborough UniversityLoughborough6LE11£231,276£6393.3%
Oxford Brookes UniversityOxford49OX3£443,918£1,2263.3%
University for the Creative ArtsFarnham44GU9£463,014£1,2693.3%
University of BristolBristol14BS8£460,385£1,1363.0%
University College LondonCamden (London Borough)10WC1£900,673£2,0562.7%
SOAS University of LondonCamden (London Borough)37WC1£900,673£2,0562.7%
London School of Economics and Political ScienceCity of Westminster (London Borough)4WC2£1,445,306£2,7822.3%
King’s College London, University of LondonCity of Westminster (London Borough)20WC2£1,445,306£2,7822.3%
Imperial College LondonCity of Westminster (London Borough)5SW7£2,002,729£2,8861.7%
Figures supplied by Howsy

Student check-out tips to help follow government COVID-19 guidelines

Published On: July 3, 2020 at 8:25 am


Categories: Tenant News

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With COVID-19 introducing new restrictions to the lettings industry, The Deposit Protection Service (DPS) has issued seven check-out tips to help students and landlords in England and Wales.

The DPS highlights that physical visits to properties in England and the creation of rental check-out reports are now possible as long as letting agents, inventory clerks, and contractors follow government guidelines.

Matt Trevett, Managing Director at The DPS, said: “We understand that the ongoing lockdown restrictions could create anxiety for students and their landlords at the end of tenancies.

“These guidelines, which reflect the latest rules on working in other people’s homes, should help ensure a more efficient and safer handover of the property in line with most recent Government policy.”

The organisation says that the Government’s guidance for landlords and tenants should be read by students, property owners and letting agents to make sure they are aware of the new rules in place due to COVID-19.

Below are The DPS’ seven guidelines:

1. Take date-stamped pictures for the check-out report

Taking time-stamped photographs or videos of the property’s condition on moving out helps landlords to verify the check-out report, could avoid a dispute and encourages the efficient return of deposit money. Landlords in Wales, where restrictions on house moves from occupied properties continue, should consider asking their student tenants to collect this evidence.

If the check-out didn’t take place as a result of the lockdown, keeping a clear record of what happened (and when) enables The DPS to assess each case on its merits and arrive at a fair outcome.

2. Keep contact details up-to-date and stay in touch about the check-out report

If a check-out report is possible, tenants and landlords should swap up-to-date mobile numbers so they can call, text or email each other throughout. Keep copies of all communications, especially if there is a delay or dispute because an adjudicator will want to see the steps the landlord took to reach an agreement.

3. Read the small print about cleaning 

Around 63% of landlords who enter The DPS’ Dispute Resolution Service cite cleaning amongst their reasons for a claim. During the pandemic the landlord may have to organise a full professional clean after the tenant leaves the property to minimise potential spread of the virus but, unless one took place before start of the tenancy or the tenancy agreement stipulates one is required, the tenant generally does not have to cover the cost.

4. Students and landlords cannot use deposit money to pay rent

Students should tell their landlords if they experience financial issues so that both sides can discuss options, e.g. rent deferments. Students experiencing problems paying their rent cannot ask for their deposit money to make up the shortfall or cover the final month’s rent before moving out. Landlords that have reduced a tenant’s rent cannot make a claim from the deposit to make up the payment. Landlords offering payment holidays should spell out in writing, e.g. via email to the tenant that they must pay the deferred rent once the crisis is over.

5. Use photographs to estimate repair costs

Contractors should not access a property to carry out non-urgent repairs if the tenant is self-isolating (or the property is occupied and in Wales). In these cases, the tenant can send a photograph electronically to the landlord who can pass it on to a contractor to obtain an estimate for repair work after the self-isolation/lockdown period ends.

6. Problems compiling dispute evidence during lockdown

Let the DPS know immediately of problems compiling dispute evidence so it can help to find a solution, for example, The DPS may be able to allow an extension for evidence submissions.

7. Checking gas or electrical safety certificates

The Government says that landlords should make every effort to keep gas and electrical safety checks up-to-date but that if the tenant shows coronavirus symptoms, is self-isolating, shielding or does not agree for the landlord or a contractor to access the property, the inspection should not take place.  

The DPS has also created a series of detailed FAQs on how to organise check-ins and check-outs during coronavirus, available via its website.

Top tips for private landlords investing in student lets

Published On: January 10, 2020 at 10:11 am


Categories: Landlord News

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Letting to students can be a different experience than other tenant types. With that in mind, bill-splitting service Glide has shared its tips for the best way to deal with certain tenant demands.

1. Repairs

Despite students having a general bad name for themselves when it comes to looking after their rented homes, this stereotype is vastly overexaggerated. Life as a student can be tough financially, so they will want to do what they can to get their full deposit back when it’s time to move on.

As with renting to anyone, general wear and tear is to be expected and is not the fault of the tenants. However, any issue with the structure or exterior of the property is your responsibility. You will also have to sort out any issues with flooring, walls, and sanitaryware, such as toilets, sinks or baths.

Although, it’s worth noting that it’s down to the tenant to look after any item brought into the property by themselves. For example, it’s not the landlord’s responsibility to pay for the repairs on items like TVs if provided by the occupant. 

Remember to take an inventory before the tenants first move in. This will allow you to clearly see any issues caused by neglect during their time in the property. As well as a written inventory, photos can be a massive help in the event of a dispute. This Landlord News guide will help you get started.

2. Utilities

As a landlord, you are responsible for ensuring that all gas and electric appliances are in good condition, and a gas safety check is required every year. It is also your duty to install smoke alarms on every floor of the building – and carbon monoxide alarms in every room where a fuel-burning appliance is situated. This is for the safety of your tenants.

However, it is not the duty of a landlord to deal with issues such as replacing lightbulbs. It is important to clarify in the tenancy agreement what you expect from your tenants in order to avoid disagreements.

As well as maintenance and repairs for boilers, make a note of any periods that the tenants will be away from the property. If they are all going home over Christmas, there is a risk of the pipes freezing during cold weather, which could lead to central heating issues when they return.

3. General upkeep

Glide points out that a landlord must keep the general state of the property to a level that is deemed to be fit for habitation. This essentially means they must be kept clean, tidy and without any health and safety hazards for when the tenant moves in. 

There onwards, it’s up to the occupant to look after the cleanliness and tidiness of the homes. This also includes the garden! Be aware that issues like mould, damp and pests could still be the responsibility of a landlord they are deemed to be a result of wear and tear.

Periodic inspections are vital to catch problems as early as possible. As long as you provide 24 hours’ written notice stating your intentions, you can legally enter the premises.

New Student Developments are Soaring Across the UK

Published On: October 25, 2017 at 8:06 am


Categories: Property News

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The number of new student developments is soaring across the UK, as accommodation providers attempt to meet the rising levels of students forecast to study here over the next ten years.

According to recent research by Savills, Bath is the UK’s top hotspot for student developments, due to strong demand, high occupancy levels, solid rents and good prospects for rental growth.

New Student Developments are Soaring Across the UK

New Student Developments are Soaring Across the UK

In second position is Birmingham, followed by Brighton, Bristol, Edinburgh and Exeter. This year saw three new locations move into the top ten, including Exeter, Guildford and Leeds.

Top ten student developments hotspots

  1. Bath
  2. Birmingham
  3. Brighton
  4. Bristol
  5. Edinburgh
  6. Exeter
  7. Guildford
  8. Leeds
  9. London
  10. Manchester

The London market represents the largest city in the UK for student developments. According to JLL, London’s full-time student population is expected to rise by 50% over the next decade, which will exacerbate the existing shortfall in student housing supply.

Savills reports that investment in student developments is set to reach £5.3 billion in 2017 – up by 17% on 2016 – as investor confidence returns following the EU referendum.

For landlords, the top ten list above highlights the key locations for those considering an investment into student developments.

Jeremy Robinson, the Managing Director of Housing Hand – a secured and reliable insured UK guarantor service for students and working professionals – comments: Just this month, the University of Brighton was granted planning permission for a new student accommodation project for £60-80m, which will see the development of 804 rooms in two towers, with construction due to be completed by September 2019.

“These new developments are popping up all over the UK and are good news for students. Historically, many have found it difficult to find affordable accommodation close to universities and have had to opt for purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA). Typically, rents are high in this type of accommodation, although the spec is high, which proves very attractive to international students.”

He continues: “According to Savills research, the UK attracted 112,000 full-time students from the EU and 285,000 from other countries last year, making up just under 23% of the full-time student population. These students contribute £25 billion [Universities UK] to the UK economy each year through tuition fees and other spending, such as accommodation and services.

“Forecasts show that international student numbers are to rise by 6% per year over the next three years. University applications from Chinese students have almost doubled over the last decade, to 14,000 in 2016. With the sterling–yuan exchange rate 8% lower than it was before the EU referendum, this growth is expected to continue.”

Why First-Year Students are Shunning University Halls

Published On: October 18, 2017 at 10:13 am


Categories: Property News

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A growing number of first-year students are opting for private, more luxurious student accommodation, rather than the traditional halls of residence, according to accommodation provider Collegiate AC.

Why First-Year Students are Shunning University Halls

Why First-Year Students are Shunning University Halls

The firm’s figures show that first-year students are increasingly shunning university halls in favour of more luxurious private student accommodation.

The CEO of Collegiate AC, Heriberto Cuanalo, says: “Today’s freshers have more choice than ever before when it comes to student pads. They are making the most of that choice by opting for alternatives to university halls. The image of the university lifestyle has changed dramatically over the past decade or so, and university halls are no longer in line with what students demand as part of their experience, so they’re voting with their feet.”

Collegiate AC’s data shows that first-year students accounted for 20.19% of its residents back in 2015/16. That figure rose to 21.66% in 2016/17 and to 22.06% in 2017/18. The proportion of freshers opting for private pads is rising slowly but steadily, year-on-year.

So why is this happening? First-year students are increasingly expecting a wide range of features from their accommodation. Not only do students now want en-suites in their rooms, but private fitness centres, club lounges, concierge services and dedicated study zones are also in high demand.

“Part of what makes the appeal of accommodation like this so strong is the blend of private space and outstanding social spaces,” explains Cuanalo. “Tuition fees nowadays mean that students have to pay a great deal of money in order to attend university, so it’s not surprising that they want to make the most out of every minute of that experience.”

Many purpose-built accommodation providers are also using the location of their sites to tempt first-year students away from university halls. Sites are not only well located for the university, but also for pedestrian access to the city centre – something that many university halls lack.

Cuanalo comments: “With location as well, it’s about going over and above that which is offered by traditional university accommodation. Most first-years are excited to experience all that their new town or city has to offer, and that means shopping, eating and socialising in the city centre. The more conveniently a property is located for this, the better.”

With demand for luxury student accommodation continuing to grow, there’s an opportunity for landlords to cater to the needs of first-year students with each new academic year – perhaps a new investment option is on the horizon!

Student Rents Unchanged for Second Year Running

Published On: September 25, 2017 at 9:08 am


Categories: Property News

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Private student rents have remained at an average of £100-£119 per week for the second year running, according to an annual report into student accommodation compiled by Glide Utilities, the student utilities and service provider.

The What Students Seek report shows that accommodation represents the second biggest outlay for students during their studies, behind fees. The majority (72%) of student rents are between £80-£139 per week. However, university locality creates some variance, with 15% of London students paying over £200 a week, while 69% of student rents in the North East are less than £90 per week.

Student Rents Unchanged for Second Year Running

Student Rents Unchanged for Second Year Running

Almost half (45%) of students surveyed said that their accommodation offers good value for money, but 36% disagree, suggesting that, while student rents remain static, landlords need to understand students better to attract and retain the best tenants; a growing concern given the continued increase of modern student developments on the market.

The annual What Students Seek report uncovers what students look for when it comes to their accommodation, to unveil common themes that could help landlords improve the market appeal of their properties.

When it comes to house shares, 39% of students currently share with five or more people. However, when asked how many people they’d ideally like to live with, almost half (48%) indicated that they’d like to share with just two people or fewer in their next property.

And it appears that a television isn’t going to sway students into renting a property – the majority (60%) rated having a TV as the least important factor when choosing accommodation. After cost, a fast broadband connection is by far the most important factor for students, followed by good storage space, rent inclusive of bills and double beds.

Positively, the majority of students (57%) are happy with the way their property is managed. Nevertheless, almost a quarter (23%) weren’t pleased, with the following issues causing the most problems: lack of response on maintenance issues (37%); poor upkeep of the property (30%); and lack of communication (28%).

One way that landlords could please their tenants is to include bills in the rent, which three quarters of students said was essential or quite important when considering a property.

You could even go the extra mile and offer cash or a non-cash incentive to students, which have been given to one in 20 students. Their landlord had even taken out 2% of students for a drink!

The report also highlighted the best university cities for landlords to invest in, based on overall tenant satisfaction ratings and annual yields.

Although there are great investment opportunities across the UK, cities in the North East consistently rate highly for both annual yields and tenant satisfaction, with properties in Middlesbrough delivering a 16.1% annual return and 82% satisfaction rating. Durham and Sunderland followed close behind.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the scale, London rated lowest, with an average annual yield of just 2.7% and a 76% satisfaction rating.

Outside of student rents, the report also pointed to a decline in the infamous student social life. When asked how respondents funded their social lives, almost one in five (17%) admitted that they didn’t have one. Despite this, over a third still rated the proximity to bars and clubs as an important factor when choosing accommodation.

The CEO of Glide Utilities, James Villarreal, comments: “It’s good news for students that private rental costs remain static, especially since the price of living in halls of residence continues to rise. However, it’s very likely that costs will rise moving forward, as the ban of tenant fees will inevitably get passed through to the price of the rent. Therefore, landlords and agents can offer students greater value for money by offering bills included, and ensuring that properties are well maintained and efficiently managed.”