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Under the skin of the letting market

Here we share news and views on both the local letting market in & around Oxfordshire and all planned and recent legislation.

Oxford student letting – the Silly Season arrives

Student letting in Oxford is great fun and offers the FKSL team the opportunity to let and manage property; all our other staff specialise in either letting or managing property.

However it is a very seasonal market and so in July and August we are at full speed.

The FKSL team have conducted 60 check outs in the last 6 weeks with another 40 to go before the end of the month; an enormous and challenging task. We are fortunate that because our properties are some of the best in Oxford the students usually look after them very well. Normally we just need to arrange some minor professional and carpet cleaning and the majority of tenants understand this and are very reasonable, as this email received on 13/8/12 illustrates:

“Dear Alec, Now that deposit stuff is sorted i just wanted to write a quick note to thank you for all your efforts this year. Having moved around a lot of rented properties it was refreshing to deal with a letting agent that actually does a fair and professional job. Whilst we’ve not always agreed with decisions relating to the house, I think this is to be expected, and whenever we did have problems you were very pleasant to deal with and tried your best to take care of the problems quickly and efficiently.”

There are of course some properties where the students have enjoyed the Oxford student party atmosphere to the full. It is then difficult to return a 5 or 6 bedroom house to a “professionally clean standard” (removing wine stained walls, 12 month old dust and grease etc) with 5 or 6 hours unprofessional cleaning; costs can be high. Professional cleaners charge £12 to £15 per hour and carpet cleaners charge £35 per room.

A Cowley Student house – at the Check Out and not left in the best condition.

There is nothing more disheartening than arriving to do a check out of a property in poor condition and to then get the students and their guarantors disputing the cleaning charges claiming that they are wear and tear. As a rule, if cleaning can remove the problem, it is not wear and tear – it is dirt.

The same Cowley house, after we’ve organised professional cleaning and got it ship-shape for the incoming tenants

We don’t enjoy confrontation and sadly the stress of moving out can do funny things to people and heated discussions ensue. Not good. It is particularly difficult when discussing the matter with a parent who has never even visited the property.

How to avoid the move-out stress? Start with your inventory, follow our ‘Check Out Notes’, use professional cleaners and ask us if you have any questions.

Of course the most important thing is to make sure that the incoming tenants move into a clean property with a clean oven, clean carpets and new mattress protectors.

We persevere!!