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Andy Babbayan, D&L Property Services

The start of June sees the start of the big student migration. Tenancy agreements come to an end, some students graduate and leave, others arrive or move from halls of residence, others just go in search of grasses greener. As a result the next three months, from June to early September, is absolute chaos. Chaos for the landlords, chaos for the letting agents and chaos for the maintenance companies.

Brighton is one of the only student locations where 12 months tenancies are commonplace. This means that there is very little time between tenancies, often only 7-14 days, to get things right and in a world of increased regulation and avenues of recourse, it is very important to get it right. In that short void period the following must happen: the agent or an inventory company must complete an end of tenancy check out report, any damage must be agreed and blame apportioned with tenancy deposit schemes instructed, any maintenance must be completed, which includes any work stipulated by the council for HMO licensing, the property must be professionally cleaned and a new inventory completed prior to new students moving in. The towns letting agents become a blur of keys and contractors jostling to meet the tight timelines. Each step of the process is key, without it the new tenancy will start badly, with additional costs for landlords and headaches for tenants and agents alike.

In order for agents and landlords to avoid the chaos then planning is needed, getting things booked in. There are a few other considerations. Some contractors, especially some of the smaller ones, can become spectacularly unreliable in busy periods at short notice. Much the same for contractors with whom there is not already a working relationship. Also, sufficient time should be allowed for work, especially if there is significant refurbishment or regulatory work to be done, so landlords should not necessarily go for the shortest void period. For many experienced landlords and agents, this may seem like a lesson in sucking eggs, for others hopefully a penny may drop. For us at D&L the planning and coordination has been going on for months; this summer will be our busiest yet but I think we are ready!

Andy Babbayan, D&L Property Services. D&L are Brightons leading student property & HMO maintenance specialists.