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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.

Finders Keepers Student Letting quoted in The Telegraph

Property check-ins are vital in order to avoid disputes at the end

Finders Keepers Student Letting has been recently quoted in a Telegraph article. At the end of April the national paper wrote a piece on the high rental yields achieved from student lets, with rental income rising by 5% per annum and returns averaging 11.5%.

London has the glamorous figures of 6.7% increases in return, while university towns and cities outside of London are benefitting from low property prices and rising yields. The reason that student lets are higher yielding than the rest of the private letting market is simply because you can fit more students into a property than professional tenants, for example by turning spare reception rooms into additional bedrooms. Student tenants also have the added bonus of guarantors, making it unlikely for them to not pay the rent.

As with any buy-to-let investment, location is the key and most University cities will have a ‘dedicated’ student area. The other factors which are often important – good furnishing, good views and a desirable street – are not such a concern for students. Easy access to town and campus is vital, but everything else is mostly insignificant and decoration and furnishing can be clean and modern but basic and functional (as well as hard-wearing).

An important factor to consider if investing in student accommodation in Oxford is the need for an HMO licence, which limits the amount of student accommodation in favour of family homes. Simon Tyrrell, from Finders Keepers Student Letting, was quoted in the article:

“The result is a rise in the number of illegal HMOs and a limited supply of official HMOs, which is also driving up student rents – and forcing students to stay at home. In Oxford, if you let your house to students one year, with an HMO licence, then let the property to a family the next year, your HMO licence will lapse and you can’t get it back.”

Of course, a house with five students living in it is likely to suffer more wear and tear, which would be taken into account by any dispute resolution service. This is why detailed inventories are so important, along with a property check-in and regular inspections with detailed reports to the tenants and guarantors on any areas which need tackling.

Read the article in full here