If you are a student landlord (or any other, for that matter) and your property is in Manchester or its surrounds, then you should certainly be aware of the council`s plans to grow the number of ‘good landlords’.
Officials plan to do this by rewarding those Manchester landlords they deem ‘fair and exemplary` by giving them tax breaks on their property. Now, no landlord is going to turn their nose up at that! The council`s plan, of course, is to rid the city of slum landlords once and for all.
Not only will the ‘bad landlords’ be refused a tax break, but they will also be out of pocket – thanks to a maximum fine of up to £20,000 if the council`s officials get their way.
Personally we definitely feel it`s no bad thing – after all who wants their student son or daughter to have to live in rooms which affect their health due to dampness, noise or by posing a fire risk? In addition, a city`s reputation can stick so it`s better all round for every landlord in Manchester if the city is seen as a good place to rent property in.
Is the new planned legislation enforceable?
The council says the areas they will initially be targeting are residential flats with shops and other commercial premises underneath. However, officials admit they will only be able to administer their plans to give the ‘good landlords’ a break if the government agrees to let them to keep the money they collect in fines from the dodgy landlords (not so much a case of ‘robbing the rich to give to the poor’ but rather ‘taking from the bad to give to the good’).
Manchester councillors insist they should be allowed to keep the money under the terms of the Devolution Agreement – a document signed with the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in recent months.
Manchester council shuns Selective Licensing
Council officials are confident they can force slum landlords to clean up their act (and their property – even although it goes against the government`s preferred method of ridding the streets. They prefer the idea of Selective Licensing (SL) and it`s a route already favoured by councils such as those in Salford, Liverpool, Blackpool and London. SL results in landlords in the targeting of particular areas. Those with a concentration of poor landlords are being forced to pay a license fee. This can go as high as £800 in some cases but the average is £500 over five years. If a property falls below what is deemed as acceptable standards the landlord could be fined up to £20,000.
Student properties in Manchester
Meanwhile, Manchester has seen the number of student properties multiply within the last decade. In fact there are around 55,000 new buy-to-lets in the city and surrounds since 2002. At the moment approximately 50,000 students attend the city`s three universities.
According to property site Zoopla the average student property yield two years ago was 5.8 per cent and happily for landlords, demand was still far outstripping supply. Recent statistics released by banking group HSBC showed that nine months ago the yield had increased to a much more impressive 7.98 per cent with one in five properties in the city now owned privately by a landlord.
Yields were higher, the report said, because rental demand was still high amongst the student population and single professionals in their 20s and 30s. In fact, Manchester came second only to Southampton in a high yield table (the latter boasting average yields of 8.73 per cent. In Manchester the average property was valued at £104,244 with the average rent £693.
So how is your student property yield doing? For help and advice with renting to students get in touch with us here at Student Haus. We`re only ever a phone call away.