As with our previous newsletter we cannot let the current situation with the pandemic pass without comment. The new calendar year has had a tough start for everyone involved in student accommodation. The lockdown that came into force in January, has had a significant impact on student behaviour and their ability to get back to University and to begin face to face studies again.
Thankfully, the darkest days of January are now behind us and the roll out of the vaccine means that we can look forward to a return to a more familiar way of working. In this issue we will review some of the initiatives we have in place to help you. It seems pertinent to do this given the disruption of recent months and how that can impact on the planning that we all had in place at the start of the academic year.
Why the Sulets Premium Service could work for you
This unique service is available to landlords who would like an arrangement that goes beyond managing your property and gives you some peace of mind benefits.
The major difference between this type of service and the usual fee-based option is that you agree to let direct to Sulets, once we have found suitable occupiers. That means that Sulets will be paying your rent, which will be with you on time, every time. You will not have to worry about payments again.
There are no other fees attached to the Premium Service – that’s no set up fee, no management fee and no VAT.
Once we find tenants for you and they are in house, we arrange 4 cleans of the property during the length of the contract. We will also keep your property up to date with all of the necessary certification and testing (not including HMO licence). This is all included as part of the service.
Many landlords enjoy this less hassle, guaranteed rent approach to letting their accommodation. If you think it could work for you, then get in touch and we can make an assessment of your house.
Don’t forget – time for property improvements is shorter this year
As we highlighted in our last newsletter the changes that were made to our contracts in 2020 will have an impact this summer. In short there will be 4 weeks between students leaving their houses and when they can move in again. That means less time to complete any redecoration or improvements. If you have improvements planned, please contact our Property Management Officers. If the household leave early, you may be able to get in earlier to start works.
Our referral offer is still available – £100 per referral
If you know someone who could benefit from the Sulets service, then please let us know. The more good 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 do the rest.
A fire safety thank you
This is a hugely important subject and you will be well aware as to how seriously we take it. The regular testing of fire alarms and smoke detectors is a key requirement of our arrangements with you. We also know that sometimes our requests to upgrade facilities can seem a little bit much. Which is why we want to thank all of you for working with us to ensure our student tenants stay safe. We particularly want to mention fire doors and to share with you the great news that now all of our properties have fire doors in place. Fitting fire doors allows us to make that claim with confidence and to demonstrate to students how seriously our landlords take their safety and how our standards are higher than others in the market.
A new Initiative
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.
A new property rating website will soon be available for students to use as part of their search for accommodation when they decide to study in the city. This independent resource will allow students to help each other by sharing their accommodation experiences with brief ratings and comment. It will also give landlords the opportunity to engage via a response process.
The site doesn’t just cover Sulets properties but will include all University and private purpose built accommodation as well as other lettings agents in Leicester.
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. We think that this is a positive initiative that will give high quality accommodation an additional platform to be seen and chosen.
Rent discount – An update
During the lockdown in January we were able to provide a discount to the student tenants in our Premium Service properties. You will recall that we communicated with you all at the time about our plan to support students via a rent reduction. We can confirm that the rent discount for each student has been calculated and will be applied to their May payment. The rent reduction was funded by Sulets. However, at the time we asked if any landlords wanted to contribute to this and we were delighted that some landlords in our Premium and Managed houses supported us during this difficult time. We want to thank you all for your understanding of the issues that students are facing, with a special mention to those of you who have been also been able to offer a financial support to your tenants.
We appreciate that this has been another tough period for students and landlords alike and like all of you we look forward to seeing a return to a life where the COVID-19 pandemic is firmly under control.