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Tess
19-01-2009, 11:45 AM
Hello everyone

I work in a University Accommodation Office and we're putting together a sort of 'how to' for first time / just generally...unknowledgeable landlords to refer to.

I understand that this is really quite basic but can anyone make suggestions?

So Far

- The importance of regular inspections!
- Attending the check in to pass on contact details, introduce themselves to the tenants etc
- Taking meter readings before and after and pass the information on to utility companies etc
- Time periods for rectifying maintenance issues in order of priority.

Thanks in advance.

mind the gap
19-01-2009, 12:02 PM
Hello everyone

I work in a University Accommodation Office and we're putting together a sort of 'how to' for first time / just generally...unknowledgeable landlords to refer to.

I understand that this is really quite basic but can anyone make suggestions?

So Far

- The importance of regular inspections!
- Attending the check in to pass on contact details, introduce themselves to the tenants etc
- Taking meter readings before and after and pass the information on to utility companies etc
- Time periods for rectifying maintenance issues in order of priority.

Thanks in advance.

I am a student landlord and I would endorse everything you have already suggested; also,

Make sure they understand that in signing an AST they cannot back out if they fall out with their friends or 'go off' the property or even drop out of Uni! You'd be amazed how naive some students can be about this. It's a legally binding contract, ususally for 12 months.

If at all possible, take the time to meet your new tenants personally (even if they are found for you by an agent) and try to get a sense of what they are like as people. I'd say, don't just appear at the check-in, take the initiative before that. Take them out for a coffee & cake, even. Ask them about their courses, aspirations, where they are from, how well they know each other. (Think of it as casting your bread on the water - it will come back one hundredfold). That initial personal touch can make all the difference, a bit further down the track, if there is scope for bad feeling...it could defuse it. They are more likely to treat the house with greater respect, if they think of you as a human being, not just a faceless money-taker.

Be clear with them about whom they should contact about repairs/damage (you? agent?) and how (phone? email? when?).

Drum it into them about security and avoiding frost damage if prop is empty for a while/empty in winter at all.

Be clear with them what your policy is on friends staying overnight if it is an HMO or liable to be overcrowded. Discourage long term guests (although this is a difficult thing to enforce, the bottom line is that no-body should be living there as their principal residence who is not on the TA).

Ensure you have as much contact info for them as poss during the period before the tenancy begins, including home addresses when not at uni.

Be sure to have a UK-based guarantor for each one, with properly drawn up guarantor form, witnessed as a deed.

When they move in, someone (preferably you, as you will know the property well), needs physically to take them through the fire safety procedures. I provide this information in writng as well and get them to sign to say they have been shown it and understand it.

Be scrupulous about inventory check in and check out

Ensure deposits are protected in a scheme and info on this is given to students within 14 days of receiving deposit from them. They should agree a lead tenant for the purpose of delaing with deposit. You cannot refuse to return their deposits without evidence and good cause, as LLs seemed to think they could up to 2007!

There are probably more; if I can think of any, I'll post 'em. Worth looking at other Uni's leaflets as well. Newcastle Uni has quite a good booklet to give to LLs, as I recall.

schocca
08-04-2009, 12:00 PM
My 10pence worth re Student lettings...

Also remember that most students have little knowledge on waste disposal (which makes sense as normally it's their first letting experience).
- So you also need to explain how the bins work (when it's picked up, where to put the bins, etc...etc...).
- Explain recycling rules very carefully in towns that have strict recycling criteria.
- You also need to remind people what they can and cannot put down the toilet (to be explicit - no condoms, tampons, etc...). This is VERY important for foreign students (due to differing customs + rules in other countries).

Other thoughts...
- If the student is moving into regular housing, get them to say hello to the neighbours very early on in the lettings cycle. I find this is best way to resolve noise issues as the neighbours often talk directly to the students if there is a problem. Consider this a key step (from the landlords perspective) to resolve the "Studentification" issue from the headlines.
- Additionally, make sure your neighbours are happy and that no issues are occurring - also give them a contact number for you for raising issues. Consider this an important yearly task. Once they know you care about the impact on them, then the overall lettings experience is a lot easier to manage.