Accommodation for Students (AFS) was founded in 2000 by Simon Thompson after he experienced firsthand, the difficulties with finding suitable student accommodation.
Accommodationforstudents.com (AFS) is the No.1 Student Accommodation website displaying all types of student housing including flats, shared houses and private halls of residence. The company’s aim is to help students find the best accommodation available within the least amount of time and give student landlords and agents an outlet to showcase their properties directly to students.
Accommodationforstudents.com provides a fully searchable database so that students can retrieve detailed descriptions of properties that match their exact requirements. AFS is the leading UK student accommodation website featuring at the top of search engines and hosting more content than any other student accommodation website. It attracts around 3 million visits from students every year.
Who uses AFS?
– Students – looking for suitable accommodation across all major university cities nationwide
– Landlords, letting agents and private halls of residence – looking to advertise their properties to the students who visit the site and to respond to live wanted ads from students
Why invest in student property?
The supply and demand ratio is the key strength of the student accommodation and although student numbers dipped when tuition fees were increased in 2012, intake rates have since returned to previous levels. With 92% of student landlords letting their full portfolio last year, it is clear the student letting market is expanding at a rapid rate. This is the result of more school leavers than ever before opting to go on to further education, and the rising number of international students coming to the UK to take advantage of a first-class university education.
Student housing is a fairly resilient venture and, as well as offering healthy rental yields, it provides considerable benefits over other forms of property investment including an annual market for new students, rent guaranteed by a parent/guardian and on the whole, paid promptly. While most other asset classes struggled during the downturn, the student accommodation market remained solid with constant demand enabling it to deliver a reliable and predictable income stream.
Letting to students is profitable because a property that might generate £10,000 a year from rental to a single tenant can return twice or even three times as much rent when let on a per room basis.
The rewards are greater for landlords who take the plunge into student letting, but it’s not ‘easy money’. Student lets can be more management intensive than ordinary buy to lets, have increased regulatory standards to meet and often need a greater investment in furnishings and equipment.
What should student landlords be aware of?
Being a student landlord means there are licensing rules and regulations which must be adhered to.
You must conform to the law if you intend to be the landlord of a house or houses with several different tenants living within them. Laws for HMOs (houses in multiple occupation) state that all shared houses in England and Wales which have three or more storeys and five or more tenants now need a license. Licensing rules have strict guidelines on minimum amenity standards such as the number of toilets and washbasins a property must have and the number of people that can live within it. It’s important to know all the rules for the area in which your student property is situated before renting it out.
Student lets can be hard on furnishings so it’s essential to get a thorough inventory check done before they move in. Itemise everything including, where appropriate, the make and model and its state and condition, and back this up with photos. This is now even more important following the introduction of the Tenancy Deposit Schemes where the onus has now shifted to the landlord to justify why money is being withheld to cover damage.
AFS advise having a professional inventory carried out with a property check-in and check-out service, having a third party carry this out generally avoids any disputes at the end of the tenancy. Get parents to be guarantors as this will allow you to chase either them or their parents for part or whole of the rent in the event of any one of them defaulting.