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Property LIfe


Today’s students are savvy customers and properties need to be kept in good condition


It doesn’t tend to matter what your


property looks like from the outside: the highest yields tend to be for less attractive homes which a landlord wouldn’t choose to live in themselves. “For prettier student homes which could easily be sold as a family home in the future, prices are higher and so yields drop to 4-5%,” Tyrell says. Inside though, you will need to have a separate bedroom per tenant, and a ratio of one bathroom for every two/ three bedrooms. Above all, parents should be


aware of overpaying for university accommodation, warns Charlie Vaughan-Lee. “Estate agents can spot a parent buyer a mile off ,” he says.


investors who have no intention of living in the property themselves stand to make the most money as they invest where the highest yields are.


What type of property should I buy? While the purpose-built managed accommodation blocks springing up in many university towns can prove to be a hassle-free investment for pure investors, live-in landlords might fi nd them too institutional. The majority of Charlie Vaughan-Lee’s clients are seeking to rent private residential accommodation with a group of friends, within the “student” area of town. “We often fi nd students


City Leeds


Avg Rent Max Gross Yield


Nottingham £71.00 12.0% Cirencester Manchester


£71.00 13.4% £83.00 11.1%


Loughborough £65.00 10.6% York


£67.00 10.7% £70.00 10.6%


Durham Sheffi eld


£75.00 10.3% £67.00 9.9%


Birmingham £62.00 9.9% Bournemouth £73.00 9.7% Liverpool


Portsmouth £80.00 9.3% Hull


Brighton Newcastle


Norwich Exeter Oxford


Reading


Cambridge Falmouth Bristol


£57.00 9.5% £57.00 8.9%


£79.00 8.9% £76.00 8.5%


Southampton £65.00 8.4% Cardiff


£60.00 8.4% £59.00 7.9% £93.00 7.7% £79.00 7.2% £67.00 6.5% £88.00 5.9% £75.00 5.9% £73.00 5.4%


Student Cribs research - 2010


The Young Ones were students at Scumbag College


becoming quite house proud,” he says. “Many are choosing to live more like young


professionals than The Young Ones.”


If you’re renting Many students are


choosing to live more like young


your property to fi ve or more non-family members, and it is three storeys or more, it will need to hold a House in Multiple Occupation licence. These can be diffi cult to obtain so it’s easiest to invest in a house which already has one. For more information see www.hmo. org.uk It’s also best to buy a freehold rather than a leasehold property to ensure you are in control of any major costs such as re-roofi ng. Simon Tyrrell who oversees


professionals than The Young Ones


The pros and cons of being a student landlord There can be no shirking of responsibilities just because you’re renting to students. “They’re savvy customers,” says Simon Tyrell. “And they hear about the best houses through word of mouth so you need to keep your property shipshape if you want your tenants to recommend it to their friends.” Vaughan-Lee restored and managed his student property himself while he was a student, seeing it as a good opportunity to learn business skills. “I saved on rental costs and I had an immediate source of income when I graduated,” he says. “Plus managing my own investment looked great on my CV and it ultimately inspired me to build a portfolio of 47 properties.” But Vaughan-Lee warns that the


role of student landlord is not for the fainthearted, largely due to the confl ict of interest in being a landlord and tenant. “Chasing rent from friends can be tough; when the boiler or dishwasher goes wrong you are responsible for sorting it out.” In some instances, parents manage


the student letting division of Finders Keepers in Oxford www. fi nderskeepers.co.uk, advises parent buyers to avoid the very large student homes of six-plus bedrooms. “HMO licensing can be even more complex with these properties and maintenance sometimes experiences a reverse of ‘economies of scale’,” he says.


www.fi rstelevenmagazine.co.uk


the property on behalf of a child but this has its own pitfalls, according to Vaughan-Lee. “Parents tend to have diff erent standards of tidiness and cleanliness to their student tenants,” he says. “It’s usually best if the owner and their family keep at arms length.” The most successful student


landlords, according to Tyrell, tend to be those who decide to employ a managing agent as a go-between and who use the tenants’ parents as a point of contact.


Autumn 2011 FirstEleven 79





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