The Leicester property market is positively booming with a +2.14% increase in bricks and mortar values over the last year and considerably more in the student areas of town, with HMO's fetching a premium. Average rental prices in Clarendon Park are also well above the East Midlands’ average, suggesting tha demand continues to outstriup supply in the popular areas of Leicester. If you own a student rental proeprty, the average asking rent in Leicester is now £70 per week per student/room, and depending on the state of your property and how effective your student accomodation company is in Leicester, you could be achieveing as much as £121 per week. But with such such fierce competition how do you stay ahead of the curve?
Even if you're using a student letting agent in Leicester, there are a number of property maintenance and management bits that you should make sure get done over the 'quiet' summer period! This short article is packed with 5 helpful tips to make sure your student accomodation gets off to a headstart this (academic) year!
1. The tenancy agreement
If you use one, your student property manager should certainly have tenants lined up for the 1st September. First and foremost, it’s important that your new student tenants understand the terms of their tenancy agreement, their responsibilities and obligations in your property and likewise what their expectations of you as their landlord should be. Our advice is to email the group and if you’re super organised, perhaps you can prepare and attach a PDF document summarising everything they need to know, like what to do in an emergency, where to find a stop tap and how to make sure their rent payments are set up if they are going direct to you. As a student letting agecny in Leicester ourselves, we send all of our tenants a 'moving-in' booklet; it saves heaps of time further down the line and helps makes a good first impression!
The key is to find an economic balance because cheap is not always better! Cheap breaks easily and you run the risk of spending more in the long term to replace it. Having said that, the occasional bumps and scrapes will certainly occur during a tenancy as any professional student property management company will tell you.
The best way is to buy good quality and durable furniture and fittings, and protect them cheaply. Another key factor is to keep with the interior design trend and shabby chic fits the HMO bill perfectly. The essentials of 'shabby chicing' is upcycling - buying second hand tat furniture and redecorating - which provides the home with a sense of character as well as a faux-luxury feel. If you’re too busy or never quite made it as an artist or decorator, you only need to head to an antiques quarter to find some ‘off-the-shelf’ options.
3. Redecoration / Updates
This will always be an issue with student houses and one that often causes the most friction with locals in Leicester at this time of year. No one wants to see their mounds of rubbish piled for collection over the summer months so Leicester Council have a good recycling policy to help you out. If you let them know online, they will collect large bulky items from the roadside for free. There's a limit as to how frequently and how many items they will take. Click here to do it.
If you find unwanted items left over in your empty student property, you should consider recycling them for reuse at the Gypsum Close Recycling Centre. On site, the charity LOROS operate a re-use shop where you can donate unwanted items to a good cause. Another handy trick looking forward is to hold a particular tenant accountable for the state and cleanliness of the bin area for the duration of the tenancy for a small fee. The added £20 a month (or 6 pack of beers) goes a long way to motivating students to keep their areas clean.
With any luck (a lot of luck) your tenants will have kept on top of the garden out back in order to have a few BBQs. There's nothing worse than a lawn that resembles the Serengeti, and it isn't a good first impressiomn for your new tenants or 'mum and dad' who come to check out the eldest's new student pad!
Again, paying a tenant will keep the garden from getting unruly and save you a huge task next summer, but if you do have a lawn and want it looking spick and span for photo opportunities, a quick strim and cut back will be well worth it! Tidy gardens do sell (despite what most student letting agents will tell you in Leicester), so call a gardener to do a couple of hours work. An additional option may be to invest in a few potted, low maintenance plants that require infrequent watering and do not overspill and take over the garden. A good rosemary plant will be appreciated by your hipster students who like to cook. Give us a call if you need to borrow our gardener this summer!
With Rightmove, Zoopla and a host of other online showrooms bearing your property in all it's glory, for everybody to see, you need to stand out for the right reasons! It goes without saying that presentation sells. An airy, colourful, and vibrant room with a few stylish tenant-relevant wall pieces will go a long way in getting you top rents. Your student accomodation team should certainly be making the most of the empty period to get better photos. Too often do you see amateur photos that make the house look cramped and dark, or photos that have nothing to do with selling the house. We take our dressing and photography very seriousl. We're also moving towards 2018 and if you really want to get ahead of the curve, now might also be a good time to start thinking of virtual reality and walk-through videos to supplement the advertising of your property come November. Talk to us about 360 videos!Smart property are a student and professional HMO property management and investment company in Leicester, Manchester, Salford, Sheffield and Nottingham. As well as our standard property management services, they offer a long term rent guarantee programme that Property118 founder Mark Alexander found ‘so impressive’ he decided to invest himself.