This month the AFS team caught up with Jim Skelton. Jim has been a landlord for over 25 years and his portfolio extends across Manchester and includes Fallowfield, Rusholme, Victoria Park and Withington. Jim has advertised his properties on AFS for a number of years and over the years achieved an excellent reputation among students.
In a recent survey over 70% of students on AFS indicated that the availability of bills inclusive rents
was either an important or essential feature of student accommodation. We asked Jim his views on this
How important is it to offer bills inclusive rents?
Incredibly important. All student tenants are now looking for a package and not just a property and a landlord has got to offer a tenant what they want, otherwise the landlord is at a disadvantage in the lettings market. We have also noticed that tenants on a bills inclusive package are keeping the heating on in the property during the winter which is a GOOD THING as this significantly reduces the amount of condensation that occurs in properties.
Why do you think that students want bills inclusive?
They want the process of renting their accommodation whilst at University to be as streamlined as possible. They also want to know all of the costs associated with renting out the property from the offset. Also they simply don’t have to think about bills when they move in and they don’t waste time paying bills themselves. Finally it avoids possible disagreements with fellow housemates as everyone is paying the same amount.
What % of your properties provide bills inclusive?
We give all properties the choice to have a bills inclusive package each year i.e. it is interchangeable. This year 50% have elected for bills inclusive packages.
What made you decide to work with Glide to offer bills inclusive rents?
There are only two companies the offer the service of taking care of all bills and Glide provided the most comprehensive package i.e. they supplied broadband whereas the other company did not.
What are the benefits of working with Glide?
It has been a smooth transition and a problem taken care of. In short they have made my life a little bit more simple.
How do you prevent students from abusing the bills inclusive service?
We have it clearly stated in the contract that they will be charged for anything over their fair usage policy. I also check the android app that Glide have to see which properties may be overusing and notify the households accordingly.
To find out a bit more about Jim you can visit his website http://www.centralproperties.co.uk. If you would like to be featured in our next blog to discuss current trends in student accommodation, contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are considering offering Bills inclusive rents contact Alex Back at Glide email@example.com or call on 07436 160 306