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Letting To Students: Dispelling the Myths

student housing north west

Many landlords often worry about letting out their properties to students, fearing that they will not receive rental payments, or that their houses will be destroyed during wild parties. However, issues like these are exceptionally rare. We thought we’d dispel some of the popular myths about renting to students in this blog post.

Damage to the Property

A landlord’s worst nightmare is undoubtedly that their property will be destroyed by a particularly wild student party. However, with the rising cost of living, students are increasingly opting to drink and party less, with some studies suggesting that 30% of the student population does not drink at all. With less spare money, students are also more conscious of the need to care for their house to protect their deposit. 

A recent survey by student utility supplier Glide also recently showed that 82% of students would rather stay in to binge watch TV and films than go out to party. Therefore, the chance of a landlord’s property being ruined is now much reduced. 

Payment Problems 

The typical image that society has of a student is of one surviving off pasta because they’ve spent all their money on alcohol. That, alongside the fact that this is the first time many will have had payment responsibilities before, leaves landlords worried that their student tenants will not have enough money to pay their rent. However, such issues are actually relatively rare in student properties, because tenants receive student loan payments termly. Furthermore, if students do miss their rent payments, they are almost always backed by strong guarantors – their parents. 

Noise Complaints

Students are typically known for playing loud music and screaming and shouting late into the night. But as they reduce their alcohol intake and opt to stay in for film nights with friends, landlords should actually see a reduction in the number of noise complaints they receive from neighbours. 

Finding the Perfect Tenants   

One of the best ways to look after your property is to engage with your tenants. If they feel like you are listening to their queries and worries, they are more likely to trust you and therefore respect both you and your property. Having a good relationship with their landlord is one of the key things students look for when renting a home. 

Still Have Concerns?

If you are worried about letting your property to students, come and speak to the experts in student housing North West based Student Haus. 

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Rent Reduction Negotiations Down

Student Estate Agent Manchester

According to the latest Private Rented Sector Report, produced by ARLA Propertymark, the number of tenants negotiating for a rent reduction has reached its lowest rate since the organisation began compiling its monthly records. 

Just 1.1% of tenants negotiated a reduction in December of last year, representing a considerable year on year drop; in 2017 the figure was 2.6% and in 2018 it was 2.2%. Even in November, the number was still as high as 1.6%. This is somewhat surprising, as the number of estate agents reporting increasing rents hit 32%. In December 2018, only 18% of agents had reported price hikes. Even so, it appears that the time tenants spend in their rental properties has remained stable; the average is still 19 months. 

Perhaps in part due to increasing costs, tenant demand fell for the third consecutive month, with an average of just 56 prospective tenants per branch, one less than in November. Yet the number of properties managed per branch rose from 203 to 206 in the same period.

In recent months much has been made of a ‘landlord exodus’ from the BTL (buy-to-let) market, with investors supposedly increasingly choosing other methods of revenue production. However, ARLA’s figures suggest that this is not entirely the case. Whilst an average of four landlords per branch did sell their properties in December, this was the same in November. 

ARLA accredited student estate agent Manchester

At student estate agents, Manchester based Student Haus, we are members of ARLA Propertymark. That means that we meet higher industry standards than the law demands. Our experts undertake regular training to ensure they are up to date with best practice and complex legislative changes so they can offer you the best advice. We are also backed by a Client Money Protection scheme which guarantees your money is protected.  

If you are a landlord with a property which you’d like to let in Salford or Manchester, please get in touch with the team. Alternatively, if you are an investor interested in purchasing a property, please visit our investment site www.mistoriagroup.com. Our North West rental properties regularly achieve combined yields of 13%. 

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Your Duties as a Student Haus Tenant

manchester student lettings agent

Whether you’re attending lectures, working in the library, playing your favourite sport or meeting up with friends on socials, we know that you’ve got lots going on in your life. We understand that your responsibilities in your property will be the last thing on your mind. That’s why we thought we’d write this blog post, as a reminder of some simple dos and don’ts from your friendly Manchester student lettings agent… 

  1. Try and keep the property clean and tidy at all times. We’ve written a blog post in the past about creating a cleaning rota and the best products to use.  
  2. No food to be left/eaten in bedrooms – we know you do this, but don’t leave evidence of it!
  3. Don’t attach posters to the walls with Blu-Tac as it causes grease marks that are really difficult to get rid of.
  4. Put your rubbish in the correct bins and don’t let it pile up, especially in your garden or yard. This causes an unsightly mess and encourages vermin. 
  5. Keep all rooms vented to prevent condensation and damp. When you’re at home, open windows a little and use extractor fans in the bathroom when you’re showering and the kitchen when you’re cooking. 
  6. When you first moved in, you will have been shown how to top up the boiler, clean out the hoover and clean the filters in your washing machine, all things you may not have known before. With just a bit of maintenance on your part, household items will stay in effective working order.
  7. Smoking is not allowed in any of our properties. Make your student house a nice environment for everyone and smoke outside, away from open windows and doors.
  8. Wet wipes and kitchen roll should be disposed of in a bin and not flushed down the toilet, otherwise you run the risk of causing blockages.
  9. Clean your shower regularly, removing hair from the plug and making sure mould doesn’t form. 
  10. Use boiler timers and your thermostat. This will help keep the house at a pleasant temperature and prevent pipes from freezing up in cold weather.
  11. When using the internet, be considerate of other people in your house; streaming films will slow your housemates’ connection speed down and can be really frustrating for anyone trying to work.
  12. Anti-social/irresponsible behaviour will not be tolerated. You each have equal responsibility to make your student house a safe and pleasant place to live for yourselves and your neighbours.

If you don’t follow the guidance above, the Student Haus maintenance team might have to be called out and you may be charged for the work that they do to fix a problem. 

If you’re looking for student houses in the North West, please get in touch with Manchester student lettings agent, Student Haus on 0161 694 6427.

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Do I Need a TV Licence?

student lettings manchester

We often get asked whether students need a TV licence for their house and it seems like there’s a lot of misinformation out there. We’ve written this blog post to break down when you need one and when you can do without. 

What is the TV Licence?

You’ll need a TV licence if you want to watch live TV, or watch or download TV programmes using iPlayer. The fee is used to pay for every aspect of the BBC’s service offering, from TV programming to podcasts and weather forecasts. Even if you spend your time watching the likes of ITV and Channel 4, you still probably use a BBC service; in a recent survey, 92% of respondents said they used at least one BBC service a week.   

If you never watch live TV and never use iPlayer, you do not need to pay the licence fee. If that’s the case, you need to let TV Licencing know. You can do that here

However, if you do need the licence but don’t pay, you could be fined more than £1000 if an enforcement officer visits your house. This includes confirming that you have a licence when asked on the iPlayer app, even if you do not.

How Much Does It Cost?

The TV licence fee this year is £154.50. That may seem high, but it’s actually reasonable given the amount of quality TV you get for your money. The cost rises with inflation each year. Sadly, there’s no discount if you’re a student, but if you’re in a shared student house, signed under a joint tenancy agreement, you only need one licence. You can then save money by equally dividing the cost of the licence between you and your friends.

If you only need the licence during term time, you may be entitled to a partial refund. You’ll have to apply for this on the TV Licencing website and provide proof of your term dates. You’ll be able to get a refund if there’s still at least a full month left on your licence. 

How Do I Pay?

The easiest way to pay your licence fee is as a one-off payment online via debit or credit card. You can also pay in installments, via cheque, by post, or via PayPoint services at most supermarkets and corner shops.  

Do I Have To Pay?

We’ve got some great news for students! As part of our ‘bills inclusive’ package, the TV licence is provided free of charge by Student Haus! 

If you’re on the hunt for student lettings, Manchester based Student Haus are here to help. Speak to the friendly team secure a house for next year.