Student accommodation in Brighton and Hove has become crowded with more student pods built all the time. It is thus important for landlords to be aware that their properties have to meet the student’s criteria.
If you are a private landlord looking to grow or refurbish your portfolio. Or even buy to let investor planning to enter the student property market. It’s essential that you understand what students now expect from their accommodation. Harrington’s Lettings over the years have kept up to date with the most modern trends. With a specific emphasis in student accommodation in Brighton. We do a yearly review to find out what students need especially in these modern times.
We outlined our findings below:-
Students nowadays have very specific expectations with the kinds of property they want. A recent survey on student accommodation can be found here. These are often different from other tenant profiles such as normal residential. The student market can be fast moving with a high turnover of tenants. It still puts an emphasis on landlords to maintain a positive relationship with their tenants. Also to encourage contract renewals. We always offer contracts to our existing tenants before they come back on the market.
STUDENTS VALUE COMMUNAL LIVING OVER INDIVIDUAL PODS
There has been a huge increase in pods in student accommodation in the Brighton and Hove area. Yet tenants still wish to live with either a friend or friends in homes with four or more tenants in.
Large bedrooms are always sought after. Students value large bedrooms more than most properties featured. They also rank living rooms and en-suite bathrooms very highly. It is not about where it is any more.
STATE OF THE PROPERTY
Having a property rented out year on year can cause huge wear and tear to student properties. Especially where they have many occupants. The days whereby these are let without carrying out any improvements are long gone. Students now expect their properties to be not only clean and tidy but maintained on a yearly basis. Including some form of redecoration every four to five years. Students expect there to be modern fittings especially in kitchens and bathrooms. New carpets would also not go amiss.
We recommend that landlords look at their properties before they go back on the market. Ensuring that they are in a high decorative state. We recommend to most landlords that they look at touching up on a yearly basis. Rather than doing it every five to six years to show that you are maintaining your property and you are a good landlord. First impressions of when the property comes back on the market are so important. Trying to explain to a student that the property will be redecorated and re-carpeted when they move in doesn’t always work.
BROADBAND TO BE INCLUDED?
Yes it is always critical now that broadband is included in most houses. We run a scheme where we are able to deal with this for managed landlords. You do get consistent calls with problems with routers, passwords, and there not being WIFI signal in the property. It is heavy on management but we can help you with this. It is important that the broadband is of the very highest speed. Being able to be used throughout the whole house. It is important that you let the students know that they have high broadband
END OF TENANCY CLEANING?
This is something that we brought in a few years ago and works well for students and landlords together. We have a scheme whereby we will guarantee the landlord that they will not receive a bill at the end of the term. It’s included within the rent for the tenant. This allows and ensures that when it comes to the tenants leaving the only item that the landlord may claim for is any form of damages. It enables us to release the deposit very quickly. It also means that the tenants are aware that whilst they do have to still clean during the term, at the end of tenancy it will be dealt with by someone else. If you wish to consider this please do not hesitate to contact us.
FURNITURE TO BE MODERN
The old days of putting old furniture into a student house have now long gone. Students expect much more from their landlord. We recently did a survey in relation to student accommodation and furniture. We found that most landlords have a tendency to use a local supplier who deals with bog standard items. The more modern furniture which is now put in the pods is also expected in houses. We have taken a long time to source a genuine supplier who is now able to help us in this regard. The furniture is modern and comes with a long warranty/guarantee so if there is an issue they will always be able to replace it. Furniture needs to be modern and up to date.
PUTTING THE PROPERTY ON THE MARKET AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE
In Brighton and Hove the student pods go to first year students. Not necessarily the second and third years who wish to take a house with their friends. However they are now looking earlier and earlier than before. We have enquiries around mid-November onwards from students looking for the next August/September. We find that the large houses will now need to go within this period as the later in the year it becomes the harder it will be for landlords to let these. The Brighton and Hove the student market is changing and landlords need to change with it. It is important that redecoration of any nature is done before the property is placed back on the market so that the property is at its best.
We have on many occasions looked at all-inclusive bills but it is something that we don’t agree with. Whilst students do like it they also don’t wish to be paying over and above what they should be.
We find it is important that students have the option to choose their own utilities provider. Rather than it being imposed on them. Obviously if it was let out as an individual room then it would be completely different and we would expect bills to be included. However, where it is a house students like to organize their own bills. We have a supplier that we recommend who are able to split the bills for them while they are in the property which they all seem to appreciate.
If you have a student property in the Brighton and Hove area then please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss the above. Harringtons Lettings have been in the student market in excess of 25 years and keep a close eye on market trends on a regular basis. We are one of the top providers in Brighton and Hove for the amount of properties we have. We have a very large database of students already registered from people we have dealt with other the years. Please do not hesitate to contact us on (01273) 724000.