As students start to return to university for the beginning of the new term, landlords and letting agents are reminded of the importance of independent inventories in the student lettings sector.
Regulatory trade body the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) says that, as the student lettings market continues to boom, it’s important that landlords and their letting agents take the appropriate steps to protect their investments.
Following the publication of A-Level results in August, some 416,310 new students have gained places on university courses for the upcoming academic year throughout the country, according to UCAS.
It’s no wonder that student lets have become increasingly popular with landlords, due to the potentially high yields on offer; student landlords can benefit from average yields of up to 12% in certain thriving university locations.
Despite the rising appeal of student lets, the AIIC is keen to remind landlords that it is important to put in the necessary groundwork and steps for protection.
One Joint Chair of the AIIC, Danny Zane, says: “Thousands of students from all over the globe will be moving into accommodation for the next academic year over the coming weeks, and we’re taking this opportunity to remind landlords and letting agents of the importance of getting the pre-tenancy process right.
“Student lets are different to traditional lets for a number of reasons. Firstly, they are usually only for the duration of the academic year, so landlords can expect a higher turnover of tenants. This means it can be more difficult for landlords to keep up with the contents of the property and any damage that has taken place – this is where inventories become invaluable.”
He adds: “There are also often multiple deposits per property to think about, as students commonly share with friends.”
The AIIC also points out that, for many tenants, their university years are their first experiences of private renting.
“It’s beneficial for agents and landlords to acknowledge this, and explain the importance and workings of inventories, deposits and other key parts of the rental process,” believes Zane.
Student landlords are also likely to experience more void periods, due to the nature of their tenants’ movements and schedules, highlights the AIIC.
The other Joint Chair, Emma Glencross, explains: “Student rental properties are often left empty for up to three months during the summer period – as well as over the Easter and Christmas holidays – and so the presence of an independent and impartial inventory is crucial for all sides of the rental agreement.
“An independent and unbiased inventory details the condition of the property at the beginning and end of the tenancy, helping to ensure a fair move-in/move-out process for all parties.”
She continues: “It allows landlords, agents and tenants parties to make a fair comparison of the property’s contents and condition when a tenancy finishes, therefore reducing the chances of a formal deposit dispute taking place.”
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Zane concludes: “A booming student lets market is positive for the wider rental industry and, if landlords take the necessary steps – including providing a professional inventory – they can benefit from the potentially high yields on offer with the peace of mind that their investment is protected.”