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News: Coronavirus set to hit income of large-scale student landlord

Mon, 12 Oct 20

One of Britain’s biggest corporate student landlords is warning of reduced income in the year ahead thanks to Coronavirus.

Unite has told shareholders it achieved a relatively strong performance in recent months with 88 per cent of bed spaces let across its portfolio in the final stages of the lettings cycle for the 2020-21 academic year - this is down 10 per cent compared to a year ago. 

Unite confirmed that letting activity since the controversial A-level results in August had been “healthy” with completed lettings dipping a little below its 90 per cent occupancy target as the latest surge in Coronavirus cases had resulted in a higher-than-usual volume of cancellations. 

The company says that all of its buildings are open, with nomination agreements accounting for 57 per cent of 2020-21 bookings, with the remaining 43 per cent sold on a direct-let basis. 

 

UK students account for 45 per cent of its direct-let bookings, up from 38 per cent in 2019-20, which it told shareholders reflected an increased focus on appealing to students moving from HMOs. 

An offer to delay start dates has been taken up by around 10 per cent of students leading to a shortening in average tenancy lengths to 43 weeks for 2020-21. 

 

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