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Student landlords need change of strategy

MD Graham Kinnear said: "We have been closely monitoring the situation and we feel that the landscape for student landlords is about to change significantly. Demographics show that there is to be a decline in the number of teenagers who may be considering university and the commencement of the increased student fees means many are searching for a suitable course at their local university with the intention to stay living at home in an attempt to avoid graduating with enormous debts”

Paul Hughes, who is involved in the Research Analysis department at Landlord Assist, said: "Student landlords will need to step up their game in order to attract a reduced number of tenants searching for accommodation or indeed consider leaving the student market altogether.

"It is certainly true to say that gone are the days when students would be forced to accept any standard of accommodation. The landlords who are doing well out of this market are the ones providing quality accommodation with decent furnishings, internet connections and the like.”

While the Government felt it unlikely that many universities would adopt high fees, this concept appears to have been misguided and virtually all of them are proposing to charge £9000 or a figure close to that maximum per annum. With the economic backdrop of austerity it is unsurprising that students are considering staying at home and studying in their locality.

Stephen Parry, Commercial Director at Landlord Assist said landlords with properties in many university towns could find a high demand from professional private tenants as opposed to students – although receptions reconfigured as student bedrooms would need to be reinstated and perhaps any furnishings provided be upgraded.

"Demand in the private sector is growing and rents are increasing," he said.

"Those landlords who see a reduction in demand in the student sector may be able to replicate their income by letting to private professional tenants.”

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  1. Raising the quality of student accommodation is the best bet, the private sector is beginning to struggle with rising unemployment and wages stagnating.