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A seasoned landlords know there are basically two residential markets in Derby – professional, including families and students. The difference is that up to about two years ago one use to be able to let a two bedroom terrace property to three students (by using the dining room as a third bedroom) with shared facilities (bathroom, kitchen and lounge) for roughly £800 per month. The same house would let to a professional couple for about £550 to £600, which is quite a difference.

The problem is that with the former you might only receive ten or eleven month’s rent, you would also have more repair costs and you do have an annual turnover at the end of every academic year. With the latter you get twelve month’s rent, less repairs and the potential of having the same tenants for a number of years. The final financial difference between the two markets is thus far less than one might expect.

On top of this one needs to consider that there is now an oversupply of three and four bedroom student houses, as bearing in mind the trebling of course fees to an average of £8,500, staying with Hotel Mum and Dad is a much cheaper option. It does though brings with it the unfortunate aspect of ongoing parental control!

This oversupply has meant a lot more competition and many landlords are investing heavily in upgrading their properties or transferring wholesale to the professional market or even selling up all together. The upgrading means that woodchip is being replaced with newly plastered walls, bathrooms and kitchens are being upgraded and sofas and kitchens are becoming disposable items, with old style three piece suites being a thing of the past. Another effect of the upgrading is that the quality of the whole letting market is slowly improving.

Returning to the discussion about furniture, Ikea furniture is being mentioned more and more as an acceptable modern contemporary style and even landlords are realising that with easy change covers for sofas, they will go with any colour of room and even serve as a focal point. The problem though with Ikea is that recently they have had their FSC accreditation revoked, due to allegedly denuding ancient 700 year old Russian forests, which might make some people think twice about using them.

All these furniture headaches are making some landlords think twice about providing furnished accommodation whichever sector they are involved with. What with mattresses lasting an average of two to three years before soiling brings a theoretical long life to a quick and expensive end, and divan beds are no longer acceptable as they take up valuable storage space, providing furniture can be an expensive strategy.

It is becoming more and more important to have an agent, who is on top of these massive paradigm changes. As, a new landlord said last week “many thanks for the explanation.. you have just saved me a lot of money”. Moral of the story is you can rely on Blue i Properties to give you better returns. Give us a ring on 01332 371661.


William Barron – Blue i Properties – February 28th 2014

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