CASE STUD­IES: THE NEW­BREED OF STU­DENT LAND­LORDS

Nigel Tapp, founder of char­tered sur­vey­ors and prop­erty con­sul­tants Nigel Tapp and Co, in Leeds.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

Nigel has bought con­ven­tional buy-to-lets around sub­ur­ban Leeds since 1997, but three years ago he be­gan in­vest­ing in stu­dent lets in Hud­der­s­field.

He now has seven stu­dent prop­er­ties

He says: “I looked at buy­ing stu­dent lets in Leeds at first but I thought the mar­ket was over­heated in Head­in­g­ley and it was too com­pet­i­tive. I think York, Leeds and Sh­effield are in­tense too, so I looked at Hud­der­s­field.

“It has a well-re­garded uni­ver­sity with 15,000 stu­dents. The stu­dent let mar­ket is more sta­ble and prop­erty val­ues are lower than in Leeds, so you are able to in­vest more eas­ily.

“I look for houses with large, equal sized bed­rooms and places I can maybe ex­tend.

“Then I com­pletely re­fur­bish them to make them suit­able for stu­dents.

“They are very dis­cern­ing and so are their par­ents. Parental in­flu­ence can­not be over­es­ti­mated.

“They have a big role in choos­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion.

“If you of­fer bet­ter qual­ity, you can get higher rents and at­tract bet­ter ten­ants. If you rent a pigsty then ten­ants won’t take care of it.”

The yields for his stu­dent lets are be­tween 10 and 15 per cent and Nigel self-man­ages all his prop­er­ties.

“I have very high stan­dards and I want to main­tain them and that’s one of the rea­sons I man­age my own prop­er­ties rather than us­ing a let­tings agent.

“There are more reg­u­la­tions than with my other-buy-to-let prop­er­ties, but the re­turn you get is well worth it.”

Naveen Ahmed is a di­rec­tor of Park Lane Prop­er­ties, in Leeds. The fam­ily busi­ness started 30 years ago and has a large port­fo­lio of stu­dent lets in Leeds and runs let­tings agen­cies.

Naveen says: “Leeds at­tracts a lot of stu­dents, es­pe­cially from the south of Eng­land, and I can’t see that chang­ing.

“But what has changed over the past few years is the amount and stan­dard of ac­com­mo­da­tion.

“There is a lot more pur­pose­built ac­com­mo­da­tion now and stan­dards have re­ally im­proved. Stu­dents are very dis­cern­ing.

“In the old days, they were thrilled if there was a dou­ble bed and cen­tral heat­ing, but now they want a de­signer-style sofa, fancy wall­pa­per, plasma TVs and a jacuzzi bath and they are will­ing to pay ex­tra for these things.

“The range of rents for stu­dents varies from £55 a week for some­thing ba­sic to £100 for an en-suite room in a pur­pose­built block.

“His­tor­i­cally, stu­dents house share with friends from their sec­ond year and in Leeds the favourite lo­ca­tions are Hyde Park and Head­in­g­ley and these ar­eas are well-supplied with prop­erty, but I think qual­ity can be more im­por­tant than lo­ca­tion.

“So in­vest­ing in high­qual­ity prop­erty with con­tem­po­rary decor and spa­cious bed­rooms in Bur­ley or nearer to the city cen­tre could be a good op­tion.”

He adds: “Stu­dent lets of­fer fan­tas­tic re­turns and they have al­ways out­per­formed the rest of the mar­ket, but they are more time-con­sum­ing to man­age and you do get more dam­age.

“There is also a lot of leg­is­la­tion you have to com­ply with.

“Of­ten its the first time these young peo­ple have been away from home.

“Some have never used a vac­uum cleaner and they are clue­less when it comes to se­cu­rity.

“They leave doors and win­dows open mak­ing them easy tar­gets for bur­glars.”

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