Student Lettings

We continue to receive a growing number of enquiries from Nottingham landlords struggling to let to students. Reports of frustration borne out of having let to students for many years with no real difficulty compared to today’s market where finding the same tenants today has become a real headache have become a harsh reality.

As leading Nottingham letting agents, our role within Slater & Brandley is to ensure we stay ahead of trends within the general rental market and more importantly advise our landlord clients of how to combat them. As such, perhaps one of the greatest changes we have witnessed in recent years has been the growing numbers of quality student properties now on offer. The main issue with student lettings has to be the number of private developers that have entered the sector with the specific aim to build out large student complexes within many of our major cities and at an alarming rate. Nottingham has not escaped this. Add to this a good number of Universities now building more accommodation on site as a means to generate further income and you have a situation where there is the classic problem of oversupply with average rental returns being slashed to an all-time low. This point was best documented in March 2013 when one of the largest student operators, Opal Group went into administration. In reporting their difficulties, Opal cited real problems in reaching targeted occupancy levels.

So how best can landlords combat these changes? For hardy landlords wanting to remain in the student market the only real answer is to offer the highest quality accommodation in the areas that students now wish to live. Importantly, the right areas for Nottingham are now seen as Lenton, Beeston, Radford and the City Centre. Interestingly, there has been a real growth in the number of International students now occupying City Centre apartments preferring to rent their own space rather than sharing.

Alternatively, landlords could do well by adapting to a different sharers market – that of the working professional. Again, for this to work properties have to be of a very high standard and with a fully inclusive rent with no surprises. Our research in recent months has added weight to our belief that there is just as good if not better a return to be had from this sector. By adapting to the working professional market the opportunity is greater as more areas work and with less restrictions on where tenants will live. Bear in mind however, there are some real differences between students and working professionals. For the working professional parking is important together with relative peace in a property. Workers will not tolerate unclean communal areas and have to be sure they will get on with their house mates and so the need to ‘balance’ groups is ever more important.

At Slater & Brandley we strongly believe that successful landlords will be those that adapt with changing rental markets. If you have a sharers property and would like more information on how we could help you please feel free to cal one of our friendly team on 0115 981 9651.

We hope this market insight has been helpful in shaping your thoughts as a landlord.