The student market is a sector that interests many landlords. This is mainly due to consistent and high demands of students, higher yields and minimum voids.
Oxford is no exception to this and has a very high demand of students looking for property in spite of the changes to tuition fees. Oxford has two Universities – The University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University. From the 2011 census it shows there are 43,295 students studying from these two Universities.
A recent change in legislation has been introduced in Oxford in the form of an additional licence scheme for HMO’s (Houses of multiple occupation) using powers contained in the Housing Act 2004. This additional legislation has been introduced to Oxford from the Oxford City Council in order to set a minimum standard for properties on a safety and condition basis. An HMO licence is needed for a property where there are three of more individuals sharing in the property that make up two or more households.
Joshua Court is a new development in Headington,
comprising of four 1 bedroom apartments achieving in access of £900.00 PCM each
Rents for student properties increase annually and yields are high. In addition to the HMO licence, we have been advised that planning consent is also required, and that there is a maximum restriction of 20% per 100 meters for HMO properties. This has meant that the properties that have the HMO licence granted have added value to the property from a sales perspective compared to properties in the same road that have not got the HMO licence and the area has reached the 20% maximum.
The implications for Landlords vary from property to property. Properties require a set criteria for example gas, electric and fixed wiring safety certificates, but on inspection from the council can also require additions for example sprinkler systems and additional fire doors etc (depending on the layout of the property).
There are a high number of students looking for high quality properties, with modern décor modern appliances and fashionable furnishings. Tenants will pay handsomely for this, and these properties are often the first to let with students prioritising these requirements over the price of a property.
Students are keen to secure the best properties as early as possible and will often start looking up to ten months in advance. The way that properties are marketed to students has changed over the last few years. Gone are the days of just having a list of properties; students now want to look for properties online and via Facebook and Twitter to see professional photos and floor plans of properties.
The HMO licence is a benefit to students, as there is now a minimum standard that a property has to be – so the average condition of student properties has improved.
This property is in Valencia Road and a few minutes’ walk to Brookes University
on the market as a newly refurbished 6 double bedroom property at £2630.00 PCM
Both Oxford Universities attract a large number of international students looking for smaller one or two bedroom modern apartments. These apartments are furnished to a very high standard and with more furniture needed than a standard professional let (desks, pots and pans, mirrors and pictures etc). These are ideal for students looking for high end properties where they can literally bring their clothes and personal items and everything else is included. Many of our tenants will employee regular cleaners and in some cases will have chefs, drivers and security. Rent for these properties is often paid annually in advance and at over market rent due to the specification and quality of furnishings needed.
Chancellors Student Lettings
Chancellors are currently launching their list of properties via their website, property portals and also a dedicated Chancellors Student Lettings Facebook page. Students will be able to see multiple professional photos and floor plans.
The stock of student properties is still high, but will be restricted over the coming years due to the planning permission for a HMO 20% restriction. The current advice is that properties sold with the licence will be automatically granted the planning if it currently has a HMO licence when sold. Landlords that have properties in Oxford that want to move into the student market will need to apply for the planning consent and HMO as soon as possible to ensure the quota of the 20% has not been met.
Chancellors have properties available for sale with the HMO licence and tenants in situ for new Landlords wanting to invest in this market.
If you are looking for a student property to purchase or have a property you are looking to let to students please call Jonathan Pincott to discuss on 01865 765000.
Correct at time of publication. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the individual contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of the Chancellors Group of Estate Agents Ltd or its subsidiaries. References to legislation, best practice and other matters with legal implications such as fees, rules and processes are included for information and editorial purposes only and are not authoritative, nor should they be interpreted as advice. When in doubt you should only take advice from an industry professional or solicitor where appropriate. E&OE.