What Does the Future Hold For Student Landlords?

by Mark Alexander

11:44 AM, 18th October 2011
About 9 years ago

What Does the Future Hold For Student Landlords?

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What Does the Future Hold For Student Landlords?

Will changes in funding provide threats to private rented sector landlords or an incentive for parents of students to become landlords themselves to offset rising costs of education?


Mark Alexander
Mark and his family have been investing in property since 1989, initially in the Norwich area but more recently across the length and breadth of England. Mark created Property118.com as a social network for landlords with a vision of becoming the UK’s largest online property investor directory.
Mark’s experiences and strategies as a landlord are shared here

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Mary Latham

10:34 AM, 23rd October 2011
About 9 years ago

Mark I think that it is time that you and I got ourselves out there to give parents information about how they can help to fund their children through univeristy by buying properties for them to share. The latest figures show that there is a big drop in the number of young people applying for places - it would be a pity if higher education became the right of only the rich kids whose parents are able to fund them. We were both working class kids but we are lucky enough to have been able to fund our childens education many parents are not in a position to do this but should their children miss out?

Between us we have all the information that parents need in terms of responsiblities and funding - what do you think?

12:30 PM, 23rd October 2011
About 9 years ago

Higher Education has always been more free for some than others. The introduction of high fee debts might mean kids educate closer to home or choose a vocational route into the workplace. If nothing else it means they will start to make tough decisions about their own futures rather than taking education for granted. The presumption that you go straight into uni or college at 18 may have to change. There is a great deal of benefit to be had from working, volunteering or travelling before studies. Routes to employment will start to inform choice of courses, and I see nothing wrong in employer sponsored studies. There are many things that are going to change about our further and higher education systems. Parents finding ways to financially support their children in what they want to do is only one of these and in the current climate this will still be a minority who are able to find the spare cash to do so. But I think parents should be encouraging their children to think more widely about the choices they are making rather than just assume this will always be school, sixth form, college. At 18 the world feels like it's passing you by. By 25 you realise you could have paused and taken a bit more time in your choices. Nothing wrong in that. The flip side will hopefully be that institutions and their tutors will be on the receiving end of assessments and reviews and will have to ensure they are offering real value to these kids for the money they have to commit.

Mary Latham

18:12 PM, 23rd October 2011
About 9 years ago

KP I agree with most of what you say espcially for those children who are young enough to grow up with a different career path but for those young people who have been focused for that last five years on acheiving the results that they need to get onto the next step in their education this is devastating. Can you imagine being the parent that cannot afford to help your 16/17 year into further education especially if you have encuraged that person to work hard at school and get good grades so that they can get into the best 6th form college? This is the stuff of broken dreams and it will be very hard for the next three or four years for both the young people involved and their parents.

My eldest daughter went to uni in the second year of univerisity fees, fortunately we were able to help her but many of her friends parents were not in this position because they had not had enough warning to save for this. I can remember a friend of my younger daughter, who went to uni. 3 years later, not been able to go despite the fact that her brother had gone to university and she was very bitter because she was a really bright girl and had always got higher grades than her brother.

For the parents of young children there is time to bring them up with different expectations but for young teens it is too late and very, very sad.

I haven't got grandchildren yet but I am already making financial plans for their further education

19:10 PM, 23rd October 2011
About 9 years ago

As ever Mary our viewpoint is so different. I'm not saying it's easy for anyone, but, like many I haven't a bean to contribute to my son's educational costs beyond what he is costing now. My ma was the same. I took three years out and worked damned hard for the education I got and I valued it a lot more than many others on the course. Bitterness is a personal choice. Life will throw sh_t we don't expect and rarely deserve. You could say today's teens have a valuable chance to learn that lesson really early in their lives. How they react, how they deal with the hand they've been given will be the making of them. Of course as parents we want to give our kids what they want. They have to learn that sometimes we just can't and there comes a point when they have to accept that and do their best with what they have. There will always be rich kids who can have it all. I'm guessing that amongst their own type they still feel hard done by in other ways. Education in this country has always been a time machine. I think making career choices at 18 or 20 is a nonsense for many given the investment it represents. I also think we could do with a lot more solid vocational routes to employment. The move of every type of training into the 'degree' arena was as much the fault of the colleges as anyone. The bubble had to burst and for a few years some kids will feel that impact. Having taken my three years out I returned just in time for the introduction of the very first Student Loans but I never once regretted my years out and the cost of that.

19:13 PM, 23rd October 2011
About 9 years ago

Errr. somewhere in here was a property subject?! Off we go again! 🙂

Mark Alexander

19:52 PM, 23rd October 2011
About 9 years ago

You don't need wealthy parent to go to Uni, you have choices:

1) Saddle yourself with 10's of thousands of interest free debt
2) Get a job whist you are there
3) Do a bit of both
4) Don't go

Many parents do have equity in their houses though as well as the ability to raise money.

The cashflow from Student Lets can more than pay the costs of borrowing to buy the property and can be conbtributed to education costs as well as helping kids to get on the property ladder and learn to take some responsibility.

My future step-son is at Uni now and is living off grants and student loans. What really winds me up is that amongst his peers and his lecturers this is socially acceptable. No pressure or positive influence whatsoever to develop any work ethic or to understand the impact of debt on their future lives. They only study about 15 hours a week. At that age I was working 60 hours a week minimum as well as studying to be a financial adviser. I also had a great social life. What's going on?

20:01 PM, 23rd October 2011
About 9 years ago

Ditto that! No stamina the youth of today! 🙂
I can remember a time when our staple diet was beans on toast or beer (mostly the latter), when heating was what you found at the launderette, and when cleaning was what you did to earn money to pay for said beer. I don't remember feeling hard done by. I do remember a lot of fun and a huge sense of achievement at the end of it all. I then found an employer to pay for my post-grad studies and worked through those too.
Of course a policy change is a tough thing. But they have to come some time if there is no money in the system to pay for it all.

Jonathan Clarke

23:26 PM, 23rd October 2011
About 9 years ago

I got three daughters going through or have just gone through Uni.- Nottingham / Cardiff / Sheffield. I looked at the student let route but decided against it for several reasons

1) It would put pressure on my daughter`s if there was a maintenance issue.
They would naturally have been the focus /target if the loo broke down and `daddy` couldn`t fix it pronto.
2) To to DD in the 3 areas properly would have been a logistically nightmare.
3) To manage it myself at a distance would be difficult and the hassle of finding an agent would be a pain
4) The hassle factor about what to do with the property after the 3/4 years was up
5) A student let is different from a single AST. It presents a different set of challenges
6) Far better to invest locally in a market I know and am familiar with and use the £300 pcm profit from that to fund her accommodation that end. No conflict no hassle

So after deliberating for a while I opted for option 6 . I`m soh glad i did

Mary Latham

10:06 AM, 24th October 2011
About 9 years ago

KP I agree that giving young people a work ethic is more important that helping them to obtain a degree. I also agree that many young people do take their education for granted and I made sure that my girls had to work if they wanted to eat. I did not allow them to take a student loan because I did not want them to grow up with a "debt is normal" mentality. In my opinion young people, who have enourmous credit card and loan debt (not just grduates), are not living in reality and have contributed towards the present economic situation. It is important for us to return to a mentality of not having anything until you can afford it and I just don't think that starting your life on "credit" will teach that.

I also agree that 18/20 is too young to make career decisions and of course few people actually end up working in a job for which their degree prepared them, waiting until their early 20's before entering higher education would be a good thing but the biggest problem is that they cannot find work to fill in the years between leaving school and their early 20's. I have friends with children who are studing and they just cannot find even part time work to help them pay their way.

It is a pity that the changes were not phased in slowly giving young people and their parents time to plan for the future

Mark Alexander

10:09 AM, 24th October 2011
About 9 years ago

How can you stop an 18 year old from taking student loans, attending 15 hours of lectures and playing on an X-Box for the rest of the time if that's what they are determined to do?

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