Trouble ahead for student rental sector, say BTL experts

Buy to let landlords specialising in student accommodation are facing huge challenges with increased government legislation and the impact of Coronavirus.

That’s the view of specialist rental investment company, the Mistoria Group.

It warns that student landlords could see a huge drop in demand for accommodation when the next academic year starts, if universities continue with online-only teaching, which may lead to students studying at home, or deferring their entry for another 12 months. 

Furthermore, the planned scrapping of Section 21 poses another threat to student landlords, many of whom believe it will make it harder to let to students. 

Currently, landlords issue a fixed-term tenancy for a fixed period and at the end of the tenancy, they are able to let the property to new students.

The scrapping of Section 21 will mean that student landlords will need to turn to a Section 8 notice; however, these notices can be challenged much more easily. “Student landlords are facing a very tough few months and this is driving some of the smaller players to cut their losses and sell up. It is no surprise that many landlords providing student accommodation are deeply concerned with the viability of the market. Historically, they have enjoyed excellent yields and great occupancy, but now they are facing unprecedented times” according to Mish Liyanage, managing director of The Mistoria Group.