Students are finding it tough to find rental properties as 70 percent of UK landlords have said that they would not take them on as tenants. Those who took part in the survey by student lettings app SOCE said they do do not trust students or are worried that they will damage their property. More than 2,000 adults took part in the survey which suggests that the landlord-student relationship has broken down through a lack of trust and poor communication.
In fact, the breakdown of trust has become so great that six out of 10 students feel it is more stressful to find a rental property than to look for a job, study or sit exams. Two-thirds of students said a lack of communication from estate agents and landlords was a major issue. Additionally, seven out of 10 of university students said that rental accommodation is often in a poor state.
SPCE chief executive officer Leon Ifayemi believes the landlords’ view to be far from the truth. In practice, students are not high risk because in many cases their parents will act as guarantors. He said that this means that there is little risk of students being unable to pay their rent or time or failing to cover any damages they may cause. He went on to say that students should not be labelled as party animals or lazy because they are conscientious.
National Landlords Association research shows that just 17 percent of its members will take on students as tenants. However, NLA chief executive Richard Lambert said that this was more because landlords viewed it as a specialist market. He believes that landlords should be surprised by this research. Student lets often have high rental yields and landlords are less likely to find rental arrears are an issue in comparison to other tenants such as professionals, families and couples.
Simple Landlords Insurance head of operations, Alex Huntley, also believes that the student sector is worthy of investigation. It can be a great investment because there will always be demand for quality housing in university towns. Landlord insurance will also cover investors should something go wrong. In addition to converting houses or flats to provide student accommodation near to colleges and universities, landlords can also invest in special accommodation blocks which are purpose-built for students. These are a far cry from the old halls of residence and many have shared facilities such as a gym, study area and restaurant as well as fast internet connections.
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