We Were Asked To Answer A Few Questions For Cardiff University's Official Newspaper, Gair Rhydd
Date Published 14 February 2014
We were asked to answer a few questions for Cardiff University's official newspaper, Gair Rhydd. See our answers below, ahead of their Housing Week edition on 26th November.
1. On average, how many student properties do you rent annually?
2. What is the average monthly rent payment for these properties?
Based on our current marketed stock for 2013-2014 Tenancies - £250 per calendar month per person
3. What role/duties do you think are most important for a letting agency when renting properties to students?
The main role is to be responsible and fair when dealing with every Tenant. A letting agent should engage and educate any new mover, existing tenant and landlord. Communication should be the first duty, especially to students, mums and dads. This should be backed by good knowledge and training. Educating good tenant like behaviour, as well as making sure Landlords comply with good landlord behaviour.
4. What do you think students value/look for in the service provided?
Generally with a student rush, the after care is forgotten about. Little things, like resigning for free, good maintenance care, warm welcome check in appointments at property, easy reporting, can make quite a big difference from a house to a home. In the balance of decisions, after location, quality and price, Tenants should look at safety, care and service.
5. What do you think students value/look for in properties?
Location or access to University is always a first, especially as the majority walk to their campus or need specific UWIC bus routes. Standard of property comes a close second, with most students valuing modern fitted kitchens and bathrooms as a priority over price.
6. What do you think are the main problems that students have with letting agencies?
Unfortunately there are two parts to this issue; the letting industry is unregulated to a certain extent and some unscrupulous landlords are also unaware of their legal responsibilities or are aware but delay. In the mix of this, landlords have reasonable time to complete or give go-ahead to spend monies to complete a maintenance item. Generally, dependant on the agreement with the Landlord, the agency would have to wait for approval.
An established agency will have policies in place, to manage the legal responsibility of the Landlord, and extend those rights to the tenants. The agency making sure that the legal duties, which cover a broad scope of the law, are complied with, within an acceptable timescale.
7. What do you think could be done to improve these relations/solve these problems?
Recently with the occurrence of the HMO licensing scheme, and the planned compulsory landlord accreditation, at the core, properties are improving to a good standard. Agents should provide a good service of care, communicating the facts correctly, with the overall aim to make sure a smooth tenancy for both tenants and landlords. Timescales for completions or processes, should be advised, everyone will generally know where they stand, and will be happier due to this. This process of improvement should never end, clients will give feedback, and that must be listened to, for an agency to be successful.