University of Sunderland : Private Landlord Event

Meeting  held on November 4th at the University of Sunderland : Private Landlord Event

I went along to  the meeting to represent all of our Landlords who were unable to attend.
Obviously there are a number of Landlords who have student properties in Sunderland who do not live in the North East.
This is the second event following on from the Network event held in May.  Sunderland University states the their aim is to improve student housing standards in Sunderland.
The event had representative from University Residential Services, Campus Services, Campus Police, Students Union, Sunderland City Council and Student Landlords / Letting Agencies.

Campus Police

We heard from PC Gemma Calvert
They are trying to educate the students re locking windows & doors.
There was a number of thefts reported in Millfield and Central areas when the students returned to properties in September.
Most of the burglaries were via unlocked doors or open windows.
PC Calvert also advised on the contact person for Anti Social behaviours team: Paul Mulholland
The team receive complaints about student behaviour in some residential areas, especially during Freshers week and after exams when students tend to celebrate more.
Next we were given some interesting facts on:-

 Social Media Use

A lot of Students are using social networks….
98% of 18-24 yr olds use social networks
82% use smart phones
92% have Facebook accounts
Landlords were advised that if they were not using Social Media to communicate or  connect to students then they could be missing out.  The University have joined twitter and facebook and communicate advice and information to students even before they enroll with the University.
Landlords were urged to follow @SUniAccom  and connect with Sunderland University and  Sunderland Accommodation office on Facebook.

 Sunderland City Council

Representative  Liz McEvoy   from Housing and Neighbourhood Renewal Team spoke to Landlords about  accreditation and HHSRS which is the system that local authorities use to measure the standard of homes in the private rented sector, it stands for Health Housing and Safety Rating System.
We learned that the Council will not be inspecting  non licensed HMO’s allowing all  accredited Landlords to self regulate.
Also city accredited landlords will be granted permits for refuse collection to enable them to dispose of rubbish from their properties.


Empty Homes grants.

Landlords were also given information about the Councils plans to bring empty properties back into use.
Investors or anyone considering purchasing  property that has been empty for 6 months or more  could apply for a grant to help with the cost of repairing and refurbishing.
The Council have money that  has to be committed by March 2014.
The grants of up to £5,000 are only available to properties in the following locations : Millfield, Hendon, North & Sulgrave.

Housing and Neighbourhood Renewal Team

Tel: 0191 561 1488          Email:  housing.renewal@sunderland.gov.uk

For more information on any of the areas covered you can check the link to City of Sunderland

Housing and Neighbourhood Renewal

Planning Applications

Sunderland Council have recently granted 13 planning applications for Student Accommodation,

which will create a further 300 student beds in the City.

 University Residential Services

Staff member Denise Ridley  explained to  landlords how the Acedemic Calendar works.
The University website has links to this information :

Term Dates 

Academic Calendar 2013-2014

International Student – What students look for in private accommodation?

All inclusive rents water gas electric broad band
Internet access is seen as an essential.
Decent sized bedroom with a good bed.
Good standard of furniture.
A warm house and a landlord or agent that sees to repairs quickly.

Admin:comments

I was able to voice concerns at the meeting with regards to the number of new planning applications for Student Housing.
There were a number of landlords at the meeting  that had empty properties as they had been unable to let them to Students.
I spoke out about the number of properties that over the last two years Student Rooms Lettings  have had to convert to residential lets for our clients – the total number of beds converted from students by our agency is 50.
Even the University has voiced concerned over the past month.
Feel free to contact me for advice on investing or letting residential or HMO properties.
About

Loraine Marshall: Business owner & manager student accommodation and property management.

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