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Agreed, it may become a more competitive market. However, I think there will always a demand for high quality shared houses vs purpose built blocks. High rents for damp sh*tholes not so much anymore though!
I agree, better quality shared accommodation rather than the old basic Ikea jobby will still have demand - even for professional sharers in Cov. I think it's probably best to stay clear of city centre (Stoke, etc), but somewhere like Earlsdon may still attract decent tenant (both student & professional). Not every student is going to want to live in a high rise where parties are banned!
Coventry is a about to become a classic case of over supply. My business partner's daughter has just been appointed manager of a new 400 room student development complete with gym, cafeteria, games rooms etc. Unless you can compete with that I wouldn't bother.
Just to throw a spanner in the works, five years ago I converted a four bed town house into a five bed HMO in a very nice residential area with not another HMO within miles, and with no history of there being any demand for rooms in that area. It's been fully let ever since. Sometimes it's worth trying something different.
Thanks for the advice. I think you're right with the over supply - I know the increase in student development is obviously going to have a knock on effect on the market, so it's going to be tougher. I'd also say that not every student (or professional for that matter) is going to want to live in development with strict rules, etc, and will prefer to be in a house share with their friends.
I think I'm going to be very selective with what I view - and if anything, I'll be looking with a view to ideally be buying something that can be let to professionals or mature students so will be referring to a higher finish I think. Apart from that, Birmingham is looking like a more reliable prospect.
And yes, definitely food for thought - doesn't have to be these two locations - it's just convenient for me! Did you manage the letting yourself, or do you use an agent? Where did you buy yours - or is that a secret in case there's a glut of enquiries?!
Permitted development is exactly what it says. You do not have to get planning permission from the council. UNLESS they have a section 4 notice in place. To get that they have to apply, with good reasons, to the government for a section 4 notice restricting development. Even then it may not ban what you want to do. Also if you change it to HMO 1st or buy an existing HMO, then you lose permitted development rights anyway.
So get all the work done as a standard dwelling, then just tell them you are changing to HMO and go through building regs approval. Provided you comply with building regs they cannot stop you.
Good luck Derek
Thanks Derek, I really like the sound of this method. Seems like the best way to also potentially make capital growth if I find something cheap enough and then refinance as a HMO at some point.
I'm viewing something which is running as a successful 6 bed HMO in Coventry, so this could give me an idea of what to replicate (either in Brum or Cov). Can I ask what type of property it was (sounds like a 3 bed semi if it has a garage)? So you added study, games room and dining room downstairs (using the garage as one) and then had large open kitchen/lounge at the back of the house I presume? The existing sq/ft must have been pretty big already?
If the existing owners have already built an extension, am I right in thinking that I may not be able to add anything under permitted development?
COVENTRY UNI & WARWICK UNI STATS:
I've been sent a really useful link with stats for the student intake at both Cov & Warwick universities (both show increasing admissions year on year, which is a glimmer of hope for student landlords in Coventry):
All the data is collated and reported by the Higher Education Statistics Agency so information should be available on their website - I presume for all UK universities.