Who’s in Charge of your Student Letting Business?
Some landlords may believe they control their own financial destiny – but letting a third party control a student letting business can lead to the venture collapsing like a house of cards.
Financial control is a key factor in any business – lose it and investment and profits can soon drain away.
So landlords ought to look at their properties and consider who really has the financial control of their student letting business.
One landlord in Liverpool has found this out to his cost.
Graham Jones owns two investment properties backing on to Liverpool’s Anfield soccer ground.
The club has had a policy of buying homes over recent years with a view to expanding the ground.
Mr Jones found that what started as a bustling residential neighbourhood when he first invested is now a ghost town where no one wants to live.
The result is he has two homes that are difficult to sell at market value of similar homes in the city.
Other external factors that can affect a student letting business are the fortunes of a local college or university.
If funding or policy changes dictate, the number of students seeking term time homes can alter rapidly.
Key signs are the university building extra halls of residence or seeking to move or merge a campus.
Councils seeking HMO licensing through article 4 directions and additional or selective licensing schemes can change the balance of student homes in a neighbourhood as well.
Corporate landlords try to avoid disruption to their student letting business by building their accommodation near city transport hubs rather than serve one university.
They also have accommodation that can easily switch uses – from letting rooms to conference or course facilities.
Flexible student accommodation close to road, rail and road connections is something most landlords can aim for – although third party changes enforced by government or local councils are beyond their control.
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