With the start of the new academic year fast approaching, many students from all across the country are coming our way in search of suitable Leeds student accommodation. In light of this, Landlord Assist, a nationwide tenant eviction and referencing firm, are urging landlords to not take any chances by not fully referencing prospective student tenants before entering into a tenancy agreement.
The student market is typically a lucrative business for landlords, as yields are considerably higher when compared to the rest of the residential investment market. Because of this, there is often a strong temptation for landlords to accept the first students who come along expressing interest in their property in order to ensure full occupancy levels throughout the academic year. Landlord Assist, however, have decided to issue a reminder to landlords to not treat student tenants any differently than they would regular tenants, to undertake full referencing checks.
Graham Kinnear, Managing Director of Landlord Assist says, “Many students are great tenants and a good number are not. The key is to ensure that they are properly referenced and have solid guarantors to ensure that the landlord’s position is protected.
“Most students have little or no income and are therefore not able to guarantee the obligations of the tenancy that they sign. Subsequently, most reference checks require students to have a sound guarantor who has the financial credentials and a responsible attitude to ensure that the landlord gets the property back in the right condition and that the rent is paid on time every month.”
Because supply in the buy-to-let market is unable to keep up with the demand, competition for the best properties is expected to be fierce this year.
But Landlord Assist have concerns that landlords, in a bid to ensure full occupancy levels for the academic year, may decide to do without the security of a guarantor agreement out of worry that it will slow down the tenancy process and thereby reduce potential profits.
Stephen Parry, Commercial Director at Landlord Assist says, “Although many landlords may be starting to feel the pressure because the new term is only a few weeks away and they have yet to secure a tenant, it is essential to consider the tenant’s position.
“They are a few weeks away from a new academic year at a college or university which is unlikely to be in their home town and they need to secure accommodation as quickly as possible. The request for a guarantor in such circumstances is unlikely to be a deal breaker but will certainly help to ensure a smoother tenancy and prevent disputes.”