Since the start of November students have been warned of letting agencies and landlords promoting their student properties for the 2014 – 2015 student letting year. Providing strong informative advice to help prevent tenants making poor decisions each are recommending tenants wait and be sure of their group they wish to share with, not being pressurised in to houses. Understandably this presents potential tenants further options and allows first year students who have recently started University & moved in to halls to form stronger more cohesive groups.
Whilst advice being given presents a strong case for letting or finding a student house share later, second year students from both the University of Southampton and Southampton Solent Universities have been looking earlier. The potential tenants have a competitive advantage having both a cohesive group and experience of previously finding / letting a property, thus looking earlier to gain the house they want for the following year. As many of the letting agencies and landlords point out quality student accommodation and houses are let first with a higher demand for a luxury product whilst the lack luster, tending to be private landlords, present a lower standard at a lesser cost.
As previously discussed over 17,000+ students / potential tenants are looking for houses to call home. With an influx of private developments, student flats and private halls being made available with incentives to stay and Universities suggesting a large availability of accommodation it appears students are, as one landlord puts it, not “beating the rush”. With a 3% rise in applications to Universities throughout the UK, according to UCAS, and tenants currently sharing bedrooms in Chantry halls the numbers do not appear to add up. Southampton City Council have also implemented the Article 4 Planning direction limiting the number of Houses of Multiple occupation / student properties effectively capping the maximum number of houses available, combined with increased demand on previous years from students for accommodation it appears an accommodation rush is imminent.
Finding a strong group of friends to share a house with is key, as previous discussed, with student houses being let, an influx of applicants and limited amount of property, waiting is unlikely to allow you to find a dreamy characterful castle a short walk from either University. For potential tenants and students Student Lets would recommend at least looking to gain a better idea of the market and put the wheels in motion for a house to call home in 2014 – 2015.