LandlordZONE takes the pulse of landlords and letting agents around the UK as the decision to close universities impacts student rental markets.
Students around the UK are quitting their university accommodation, leaving some landlords wondering if they’ll get their rent paid for the rest of the academic year.
The National Landlords Association (NLA) has been contacted by many student landlords whose tenants are leaving en masse following last week’s Government advice, as universities move remaining classes online.
In Nottingham, landlords fear that students leaving in their droves will refuse to pay rent.
East Midlands Property Owners Group, which represents 600 landlords in the city, says students are contacting landlords saying they’re moving back to their parental homes with some asking, ‘Do I need to pay any more rent?’
Owen Cosslett, lettings manager at Oak Student Letts in the city, believes that after a while spent cooped up at home with parents, many students will soon return, and that rent will eventually get paid.
But he tells LandlordZONE that landlords could face a bigger problem in September. “If foreign students don’t return and halls of residence flood the market with cheap accommodation it would impact on rents – and the market in 2021/22 could be a very different place,” says Cosslett.
It’s good practice for student landlords to have guarantors arranged, who remain legally responsible for the contractual rent if the student defaults, says Meera Chindooroy, NLA’s policy and public affairs manager.
“We advise landlords to approach guarantors about a payment plan in the first instance to help manage the cost over a period that will be challenging for all,” she tells LandlordZONE.
However, in Glasgow, one generous West End landlord has slashed his rents to provide relief for struggling students.
The anonymous Good Samaritan cut some of his student tenants’ rents by 30% because he didn’t want to burden those who had been hit by the double whammy of losing their university base and a bar or restaurant job.