Frequently Asked Questions for Landlords
In our experience students make great tenants, which is why it’s all we do.
We have very little trouble with rent arrears. For our own houses we have £140 outstanding, that is in more than 15 years though!
We haven’t seen any significant levels of wilful damage to a property rented to students, typically we just see the wear and tear you’d expect from a group of young adults.
We provide 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 should expect to have the houses cleaned before new tenants move in.
It’s in our tenancy agreements that tenants can’t put things up on the wall 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 regular maintenance, 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 property
Yes, students now expect their rent to include; gas, electricity, water, TV licence and fibre optic internet.
No, we include a limit on the gas and electricity the tenants can use in their tenancy agreement, but the best way to reduce the bills 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 things above typically costs between £500 and £700 per tenant per year, depending on the facilities and size of the house, larger houses usually being cheaper per tenant to run.
We will only charge you for the cost of the services that are used at your 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 our properties, 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 housing, the scheme being heavily promoted on campus, off campus and in the digital space to students and, as recommended agents, we can display the LU Homes logo, to promote the quality of your property, and go to their University Housing Fair events on both Lancaster and Cumbria campuses.
These are events held on campus and promoted to the students as a place to come and speak to LU Homes members about approved off campus accommodation. The event in the Great Hall in November 2018 had around 1000 students attend.
Going directly to LU Homes means there is a minimum fee of £220 + VAT. Through Escape Campus, regardless of the number of rooms you have, the fee is £22 + VAT per room.
LU Homes concentrate on the standards of the landlord or agent, the management of a property and then the quality and safety of a 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.