Frequently Asked Questions for Landlords
In our experience students make great tenants, which is why it’s all we do. Most student have government backed finance to cover the cost of their student accommodation and we take UK based guarantors wherever possible.
We have very little trouble with rent arrears, running at less than 0.1% of total rent ever year, across our whole portfolio of managed student properties. We take UK based guarantors wherever possible and have tenants pay rent termly.
We haven’t seen any significant levels of willful damage to a student property in Lancaster. Typically we just see the wear and tear you’d expect from a group of young adults, which is heavier than it might be at your own home but this is allowed for in the rent that students pay.
We provide our student tenants with a guide on how we expect them to leave their property several times throughout our contact with them. We expect that they have followed it, basically emptying their house and having a good go at cleaning it, but landlords of student accommodation should expect to have the houses cleaned to a professional standard before new tenants move in.
It’s in our student tenancy agreements that tenants can’t put things up on the wall with anything that leaves a mark but we’d advise you to provide notice boards in bedrooms to give them somewhere to put things up on. There are lots of other simple, cheap ways to reduce maintenance on student properties that we can help you with.
This can vary from year to year. To cover the regular maintenance of a student property, like carpet cleaning, replacing bits of furniture and equipment, as well as medium to long term maintenance, like new kitchens and bathrooms, we would recommend putting something like 10% of the total rent aside each year.
For routine maintenance you will only be charged for the actual cost of work carried out at your student property
Yes, students now expect their rent to include; gas, electricity, water, TV licence and fibre optic internet. Our tenancy agreements clearly lay out how much energy tenants are allowed to use as part of their rent whilst living in their student house, which is something we monitor throughout the year.
No, we include a limit on the gas and electricity the tenants can use in their tenancy agreement, which is something we monitor throughout the year, discussing issues with the students as they arise, but the best way to reduce the cost of bills within a student house is to provide good facilities for example; double glazed widows and modern external doors, a modern boiler with thermostatic control and loft insulation.
To provide all five services to a student house in Lancaster typically costs between £500 and £700 per tenant per year, depending on the facilities and size of the student house, larger student houses usually being cheaper per tenant to run.
You will only charged for the cost of the services that are used at your student property, our only fee being our set up fee and management fee.
Gas safety certificates are needed annually, and it’s recommended that Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) and a fire detection test and service are carried out on an annual basis as well and an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) needs to be carried out every five years.
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is needed every 10 years and properties need a Fire Risk Assessment, which provides a fire plan for the tenants, and a Legionnaires Risk Assessment, these being reviewed regularly or when a change is made to a property.
It’s very hard for us to know for sure, as the market changes each year, but we have found that the student properties we manage, which all meet the standards set by Lancaster University Homes, let every year and we’ve never had a property in October that hasn’t been filled by the start of the next academic year.
LU Homes is an accreditation scheme run by Lancaster University on behalf of them and the University of Cumbria,.
The LU Homes website is the only place students can find university approved accommodation, the scheme being heavily promoted on campus, off campus and in the digital space to Lancaster's students and, as recommended agents, Escape Campus can display the LU Homes logo, to promote the quality of your student property, and go to their University Housing Fair events on both Lancaster University and the University of Cumbria campuses.
These are events held on Lancaster University and the University of Cumbria campuses and promoted to the students as a place to come and speak to LU Homes members about accredited off campus student accommodation. The event in the Great Hall each November attracts in excess of 1000 of Lancaster's students.
Going directly to LU Homes means there is a minimum fee of £220 + VAT or £22 + VAT per student room, which ever is greater. Through Escape Campus, regardless of the number of rooms you have, you get the room rate.
LU Homes concentrate on the standard of the student accommodation management and then the quality and safety of a student property. The standards can be found here. In terms of property standards they broadly follow the standards set by Lancaster City Council for licenced Houses in Multiple Occupancy.