With more than 17,000 UK students facing rent arrears what should landlords who target this tenant be doing to mitigate the risk?
Statistics state that the number of students that have been evicted from halls of residence have doubled over the past year rising from 40 to 97.
Average rent for students
The average UK student spends £131 per week on rent, with London topping the student rental chart at an average rent of £222. The university where students pay the highest rents is The London School of Economics with an average rent of £293 per week.
Most students, where possible are offered accommodation within halls of residence for their first year of studies. If this isn’t available, the university will usually have a database of landlords and properties within the local area. If you are a landlord and want to open your property up to rent to students contacting the university will be a good place to start.
With new House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) rules being introduced late last year defining an HMO as any property occupied by five or more people, forming two or more separate households most student accommodation will fall into this category.
Landlords of HMO accommodation must have a license. You can apply for a license here.
If you want peace of mind, having guarantor agreements in place for the tenants is a must.
A guarantor must:
- Be a UK resident
- In employment or have income from investments such as pensions
- Be a homeowner
Joint and several liability Guarantor agreements
A joint and several guarantor agreements means that all guarantors for the individuals in the property have liability for the full amount should the rent for the property fall into arrears. Some guarantors will see this as too much exposure to risk, so some landlords have amended the wording so that the guarantor for an individual is only liable for their rental arrears. You can read more here about guarantor agreements.
David is an authorised High Court Enforcement Officer and our Director of Corporate Governance