The new academic year is well underway and it’s great to see both Leicester campuses busy with students again and student life as good as back to normal. In this issue we will update you on recent news from Sulets.
Sulets awared Investors in People Gold
Sulets have been accredited with the prestigious Gold award from Investors in People (IiP). Gold accreditation means Sulets have got the policies in place but more than that, it means everyone takes ownership for making them come to life. Only 17% of accredited organisations achieve Gold from Investors in People. This recognition is particularly important for Sulets as our not-for-profit status means we set high standards and pride ourselves on delivering a trusted and honest service for both landlords and students. In addition Sulets are also shortlisted for Employer of the Year (Gold category) the upcoming Investors in People Awards 2021 later this month. You can read more here – www.investorsinpeopleawards.com
2021 Student Survey Results
Every year we survey students, this allows us to understand what is important to student tenants and where they feel we can do better.
Highlights includes 94% of students would recommend Sulets to to other students, an increase on the previous year. 87% of students felt their weekly rent provided good value for money. We will be keeping a close eye on the marketplace in the coming year and assessing feedback from tenants to ensure our rents are competitively priced. 83% of respondants were happy with the overall condition & cleanliness of the property when they moved in.
You can find out more from the 2021 survey results here – www.sulets.com/2021-survey
Our referral offer is still available – £100 cash per referral
If you know someone who could benefit from the Sulets service, then please let us know. The more landlords like you that we have on board, the more students we can help and the more successful we will all be. If you are able to recommend someone to us then to say thank you for your help, if the person, or persons, that you recommend sign up to Sulets we will give you a gift of £100 for every property that they list and go on to successfully let through Sulets. Please contact Emma Godsell or Jake Lewis, or your Sulets Property Manager and they will take care of the rest.
Review of last year
The pandemic again made it a challenging academic year for students and universities. With the lockdowns and online learning severley affecting how many students actually stayed in Leicester. This certainly made it a challenge letting rooms with students waiting till the very last moment to secure accommodation. We are still receiving a good level of enquiries for rooms for the 21/22 academic year. We also advertised all housing 2 weeks earlier than usual for 22/23 to give us an early start for letting your property.
De Montfort University has also had a challenging year with a lower than expected intake of new students. This is a combination of DMU slipping into the bottom 10, having fallen to 126th place out of 132 universities. In-take numbers have also been affected by A-level grades being marked using predicted grades which resulted in higher than expected grades for many students, this as a result allowed these students to accept offers at higher ranked institutions.
Proposed expansion of Article 4 restrictions in Leicester
Leicester City Council (LCC) have announced a consultation for the proposed expansion of Article 4 restrictions to more parts of the city. Normally property owners have what is known as ‘Permitted Development Rights’ whereby a house can be turned into a shared house for up to 6 people without requiring planning permission. An Article 4 order gives the Council the ability to restrict these permitted rights. These restrictions apply to all shared housing, it is not relevant to who lives in the property, either students or professionals but typically, the restrictions that have been imposed are in the student areas around the DMU and UoL campus.
LCC have had a restriction on permitted development since 2014 and this has meant that it is almost impossible to convert a house into a shared HMO. Sulets has recently seen examples of applications that have been refused including applications that were appealed to the Planning Inspector.
The restrictions proposed will potentially expand the restrictions into areas such as Highfields and in general, over a wider area of the City. LCC has stated that there will be a consultation that will run from November 18th 2021 until January 2022. If the changes are approved, it is likely that any restrictions in the expanded area will come into force 12 months after the decision is announced.
Clearly as you are an existing landlord who owns a property in this area, it is potentially good news as it means that you are restricting other entrants to the market which should mean more demand for your property and a higher price when you come to sell. Alternatively, if you are looking to expand your portfolio in to one of these areas then and restriction will have a negative effect on your plans.
Sulets would encourage all landlords to engage with the plan irrespective of your position in the market. You can find a link to the consultation page here https://consultations.leicester.gov.uk/ Just note that this consultation will not appear until Nov 18th.
Rate Your Student Home
As part of our commitment to help to improve the accommodation service and property standards for students in Leicester, we have been involved with both the Leicester Student Unions, in the development of a new property service for students.
As mentioned in previous addtions a new property rating website has been developed and is now live. This independent resource will allow students to help each other by sharing their accommodation experiences with brief ratings and comment.
This is a key part of our mission and values, to help students find accommodation that is right for them. Over time we think that this project will not only help to drive up accommodation standards but will also become an essential source of information for students.
Take a look here – www.rateyourstudenthome.co.uk