STUDENT shared HMO housing remains robust despite Covid

It has been a difficult year for many students, with limited contact hours on campus from the ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - STUDENT shared HMO housing remains robust despite Covid | LandlordZONE.

STUDENT shared HMO housing remains robust despite Covid

It has been a difficult year for many students, with limited contact hours on campus from the outset, followed by the strict January lock down, which will keep many away from in-person lectures until September.

While some students are disappointed and are turning their attention to securing tuition fee refunds, the student housing market remains robust, particularly for landlords and agents specialising in shared student housing.

They’re back!

Students can return to campus from the 17th of May, however, the majority of students anticipate being back on campus this September, with our recent research revealing that almost 90% are of this view.  

Furthermore, there is confidence that the strong vaccine programme and well organised Universities will mean students can enjoy a relatively normal academic year from this autumn.

As a result, has experienced a 37% increase in website visitors and a 59% increase in page views in the first four months of 2021.

This positive trend is supported by a 15% increase in enquiries through the site, as confident student populations seek to secure their accommodation for next academic year.

Students willing to commit  

One of the main features of 2021 has been a growth in interest in HMOs and shared housing. In the first four months of the year our landlord properties had received over 1 million views and benefited from a 39% increase in enquiries.

Whilst our latest research revealed that 20% of students had delayed making accommodation choices for 2021 because of Covid 19, this delay primarily seems to have affected the PBSA sector where a sharp growth in bookings in anticipated in the later summer months.

Students were willing to commit to a shared housing from the outset and this is positive news for those landlords and agents.

Growing student numbers

The outlook remains positive, with 616,360 applications for a University an 8% increase and the most ever received. Within this there is a strong domestic cohort of 306,200 18 year olds. This is  over 40% of the UK’s population of 18 year olds and is a result of the continued appeal of UK Universities as well as an established trend towards further study at times of economic uncertainty.

While this is good news, it is particularly positive for landlords, as it likely to increase the market for shared housing. Our research shows that most students view living in shared housing as a key part of the University experience and that the majority (64%) thought that it was the best type of accommodation to live in.

Price, location and bills

So while the overall picture is positive, with a healthy audience and appetite for student accommodation, it is still competitive. Our recent research reveals the key factors in the students’ decision making are price and location (either in relation to the University or amenities).

The availability of bills inclusive rents is also important to many students and something that has become increasingly easy to offer. With these key elements in place and a strong online profile, there is a sustainable and growing market available to target.     

Simon Thompson is CEO of AccommodationForStudents.com.

©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - STUDENT shared HMO housing remains robust despite Covid | LandlordZONE.

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Tory MP: Why I’m hoping for a Renters Reform Bill announcement tomorrow

The demise of Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions is set to come a step closer with the ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - Tory MP: Why I’m hoping for a Renters Reform Bill announcement tomorrow | LandlordZONE.

Tory MP: Why I’m hoping for a Renters Reform Bill announcement tomorrow

The demise of Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions is set to come a step closer with the expected announcement of the Renters Reform Bill in tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech, a leading Tory MP has said.

First revealed in 2019, the bill will also bolster the Section 8 notice process, usher in a national scheme of ‘lifetime deposits’ for tenants, and reform or abolish Assured Shorthold Tenancies.

Writing in The Times, Conservative MP Nickie Aiken (pictured) said she expected to see it revived and able to make fundamental changes to help fix renters’ problems and strengthen their rights.

The Cities of London and Westminster MP said it needed to remove the “arbitrariness of evictions” and create a system less skewed in favour of landlords by abolishing Section 21.

“I have immediate family who have moved from the security of homeownership to the private rented sector,” said Aiken.

“Like many families in similar situations, the precarious nature of the sector is striking.

“Poor living standards and regulatory problems are an all-too-familiar reality for many renters. Even the best tenants have little protection from being ousted from the place that they call home.”

Unsettling

She added: “It is unsettling that eviction can happen to virtually anyone through the powers of Section 21 notices.”

Aiken pointed to a new YouGov poll that showed 76% of people think landlords should not be able to evict tenants without giving an acceptable reason.

She said that while it was clear the market has seen some seismic shifts, legislation has been slow to keep up or even respond to these changes.

“The abolition of Section 21 is the start but we need to do more to support our renters to give people a stake in the property market and assure them with long-term security.”

She added however, that it was important to recognise that any changes should not take away from a landlord’s right to regain possession of their property when tenants are at fault.

©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - Tory MP: Why I’m hoping for a Renters Reform Bill announcement tomorrow | LandlordZONE.

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