Student rent arrears shoot up ahead of fees hike
Tuesday 7th August 2012
One in five landlords (19%) say that rent arrears among students increased over the last academic year – worryingly, before hikes in student fees.
However, according to research from Mydeposits, seven in ten (70%) say they are optimistic about the future investment prospects for student lets, and about a quarter of landlords have property let to students.
The research shows that it took an average of 18 days for students to pay outstanding rent, and students fell into arrears primarily because of their mismanagement of funds (69%) rather than student fees (19%).
However, this situation could change sharply with student fees set to rise – to a maximum of £9,000 a year – from this autumn.
Eddie Hooker, CEO of Mydeposits, said: “It’s encouraging to see that landlords remain positive about the future investment prospects for the student lettings market.
“However, with planned increases to tuition fees just around the corner and tough times ahead for many students, it’s a concern for all that rent arrears seem to be on the rise.”
With the new academic year just over a month away, the National Landlords Association is reminding landlords to focus on getting their tenancies in shape for the next wave of student lets.
Carolyn Uphill, NLA director and university landlord, said: “How landlords manage the start of a tenancy can have a real impact on their tenants’ customer experience and their business as a whole, so the check-in meeting is a vital part of this process.
“It is important that all members of the group attend the check-in meeting if possible and that landlords are contactable for any early questions or problems, as this will save a lot of hassle in the long term and help to avoid a dispute occurring at the end of the tenancy.”
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