Published by Daniel Jones
Landlords who are thinking of increasing their portfolio of student accommodation have been urged by one university to run through the details with it first.
The University of Sunderland has suggested many property owners are rushing into projects designed to turn city buildings into places for young academics to live without first consulting the institution.
Phil Marsh, director of estates and facilities at the university, explained everyone wants to see high-quality housing built in Sunderland as it helps to attract students to the city. But landlords must talk with the university if they are to meet its standards on issues such as safety and location.
"We are working with Sunderland Council on a masterplan for the city which takes into account student housing. If a landlord or developer is not coming to speak to us about their plans, then we can't advise them on what we are trying to do," Mr Marsh explained.
The number of rooms available to students in Sunderland is currently at the right level. In previous years, landlords have faced problems because the number of rooms has outweighed demand from academics.
Plans to turn former pubs and colleges into student accommodation were recently unveiled and sparked the new fears from the university. It is keen to ensure owners of the buildings adhere to its guidance when creating places for academics to live.
Residents have objected to the redevelopment of the Eastender pub, in a plan that would see digs for 41 students created. Elsewhere in the city, the university has revealed it is opposed to a project to turn the Monkwearmouth College into a 68-bedroom dwelling.
While the university freely admits it is unable to stop developers pushing ahead with proposals, it would like them to get in touch before they do so.
Landlords may even find that by contacting the university, they are able to pick up useful hints and tips that will put them in a strong position in the long run.
Published on: October 4, 2013