Pricing for 2020 and general update

Another academic years marketing year starts, as another one is barely finished.

Despite very difficult conditions due to Covid-19, we finished our letting cycle in 2020 with virtually all properties fully let. The only exceptions were those taken on very late. We always recommend that landlords engage with our services early in the cycle, ideally October to January.

The main driving factor for our success this year was a high let rate by the end of February. We went into locksmith with a large propertion of properties let, and we worked hard during lockdown updating our marketing to enable properties to be let with none or limited viewings.

We are having some operational changes this year that will impact the tenancy agreements we enter you into with tenants. This is largely driven by the exceptional circumstances the Covid-19 pandemic has brought, but is also in part due to the practical aspects of tenancy change-overs during summer.

From the new rental season, we will be introducing a change to the retainer system, which will be new tenancy start date of 1st August. Your tenancy agreement will still run until the end of June the following year, and will be priced at full rent for each month, which will be the same amount as you were previously receiving. We will be working towards getting all properties ready for full occupation from 1st August for each academic year, without the time pressures of attempting to get an unknown number of houses ready for possible early ocupation. It will also avoid the issues we will run into of trying to get houses ready in too short a time, with obvious service delivery problems as a result This year we plan to slightly change our tenancy agreement term from 12 months to 11 months. This will enable us to have a 4 week turn around to complete any essential repairs, to update each property where necessary and to have each property deep cleaned, as well as to give a sufficient time gap between work, cleaning, inventory, and occupation.  This is essential due to the current Covid-19 situation and will keep you and us compliant with local and national standards to reduce the transmission of Covid-19.

As a result of this change, you will have a one month period where you do not have a running tenancy agreement. The practical implication for this will be you will see a one month bill for council tax, which will come to around £100 based on 2020 prices. We will email you directly regarding this, and the steps we will take to minimise the impact on your lettings business.

Our priority this year is to maximise our lettings before we enter the traditional quiet period from March onwards. Our marketing is now geared to limiting the number of viewings it will take to let your house, including the exciting addition of 360 virtual tours as well as video tours. We have re-photographed, videod, and taken virtual tours, of as many houses as it was possible to do during the summer this year.

With this in mind, we are setting prices based on these stabilised rent levels on the basis of what we have achieved in a sensible number of viewings. As a guideline, these prices are:

2 beds
£90-£95 on an inclusive basis, £75-£85 (approx) on an exclusive basis.

3 beds
£86 in L6. Up to £96 in L7 with some slightly higher. Up to £95 in L15. For exceptional properties they may exceed this but we would express caution and a preference towards securing a let quickly over maximising the per week rent.

4 beds.
£80 – £90 in L6. Up to £100 in L7. Up to £100 in L15.

5 beds.
£85 in L6. Up to £100 in L7. Up to £95 in L15. As the larger houses are going to be most impacted by Covid-19 we be looking to maximise opportities with larger houses and to look towards securing groups quickly.

6 beds.
£85 in L6 but with a view to taking less if needed depending on current demand. £100 in L7. £95 in L15.

Properties above this size: Depending on location.

This year due to the exceptional circumstances we are asking landlords to work with us on pricing and to give us latitude to work within acceptable boundaries of upper and lower amounts you are happy with. We will adjust the prices within these boundaries, and advise you if we think we need to adjust further if your property doesn’t let in a reasonable time frame.

We look forward to a successful 2021 with you! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Simon and the Topproperty Team

Published by: Simon Topple on October 13, 2020