Student Landlords or Surrogate Parents? Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference!
Conscientious property owners Nick and Sally had no idea that setting up as student landlords meant they were about to inadvertently adopt 16 extra children. Woops. Here’s how they’re going about lightening the load without turfing their tenants out of the nest.
With Nick’s experience in estate management at a leading university and having renovated their own house, they entered into the student rental property business thinking it would become a sideline. Little did they know that they were soon to become the lifeline to their tenants who hadn’t quite cut their teeth in a world where dirty dishes don’t wash themselves.
‘Carsal’, the property management business set up to cover the student accommodation is anything but a casual operation.
“We wanted to provide the best accommodation we possibly could for our tenants. It’s just the way we do things. We wanted our tenants to feel like they lived in a home, not a stereotypical student hovel, so we really paid attention to detail. Good locations, spacious accommodation, convenient planning, modern appliances, nice flooring, and quality decor, our student lets really are lovely places to live.”
But glancing back over the records quickly shows that the work didn’t stop after the properties were tenanted. Nick and Sal found that without a letting agent, they rapidly became Mum and Dad to their 16 tenants, talking them through the trials and tribulations of how to survive after flying the nest. The washing machine is broken! (the door was open). Why won’t the microwave get hot? (it was on defrost). The water is cold (the boiler was off). When do our contracts start? (they’d lost the contract). For the first two months after new tenants moved in, Nick and Sal had no less than 20 phone calls requiring nothing more than instruction manuals and a bit of friendly advice from a self sufficient adult.
“What we needed was a one-stop-shop where the students could find out everything they needed to know. First time round we created a file containing all the instruction manuals, contracts, term dates, etc. This worked fine until it got ‘tidied away’, never to resurface. The only way forward was to do it digitally – scan everthing in and put it online. This is where Cuckoo Vine has become an invaluable tool.”
Carsal now has three listings on Cuckoo Vine, one for each of it’s properties. Nick and Sal have uploaded all the essential documents to their listing as well as videos showing a tour of each of the houses which really helps current and prospective tenants and their new letting agents.
“It’s saved us a great deal of hassle. We finally feel like we don’t have to mother the students anymore! If they need to know anything, they just go online, look at the listing and find the document they need. They’ve also said it’s been great to email the videos to their friends and family so they can see where they’re living. We love it.”
Carsal’s Cuckoo Vine listing is just another example of how some landlords are willing to go the extra mile for their tenants. Not only are their properties absolutely top notch, but the after sales care is second to none as well. They might not be willing to adopt all their students, but if the microwaves on defrost they’ll certainly make sure they know how to heat their beans.
Cuckoo Vine – Businesses with Values
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