Posh Pads Blog

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  • UCAS numbers support Student Property Investment

    Posted on: September 26, 2014

    Student property investment has been supported by application numbers as they continue to thrive from 560,000 (January 2013) to 580,000 (January 2014) rebounding to the same peak of 2011 (UCAS, 2014) before the raised tuition fees were introduced. With both Portsmouth and Southampton City councils having introduced Article 4 planning and mandatory licensing (SCC, June 2013) it is becoming increasingly difficult for private landlords / property investors to purchase and build a portfolio to match student demands.

    With demand for quality student housing outweighing supply student houses offered (Knight Frank, 2013) a large amount of purpose built student flats, pods and halls of residence are being built / developed in Southampton (ie Smith, 2012). These properties present further accommodation to the increasing numbers of students applying to Southampton and Portsmouth Universities who will seek student property in the private rented sector.

    Alongside a progressive increase in GDP (BBC, 2014) mortgage provides appear to be more confident in lending with offered interest rates now lower than 2007 (Blackmore, 2014) increasing the attractiveness of student property investment in either Portsmouth or Southampton. Adopting this confidence and utilising our market knowledge Posh Pads are able to help potential landlords and investors find houses suited both to investment and tenants alike.

    If you would like to find out more information regarding student property investment in Portsmouth & Southampton click here to read or here to get in touch.

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  • How to keep your Student Housing toasty warm for less!

    Posted on: September 26, 2014

    With the MET office predicting one of the coldest winters on records for 60 years Posh Pads have few tips to keep your student housing warm whilst reducing your bills and saving money. Simple changes to heating your house, looking to other suppliers and better planning usage will keep your student accommodation warm!

    Electric heaters vs Gas central heating

    Throughout November it’s has been noticed a lot of our tenants have electric fan heaters, storage and small radiators in use. These small heaters are ideal for a quick blast of warm air to heat your room although are quite expensive to run whilst the heat produced dissipates fast once turned off. With electric prices being 3 / 4 times more expensive per unit than using gas (Which 2013) turning the gas central heating on twice daily for a few hours will both warm the house and you for longer.

    The following presents a comparison on using the gas central heating to using electrical heaters:

    * Based on Which Home Heating systems, £770.00 per annum / 365 / 4 hours a day (http://www.which.co.uk/energy/creating-an-energy-saving-home/guides/home-heating-systems/gas-central-heating/)
    ** Sust-it Electric Heating Cost calculator (http://www.sust-it.net/heating-energy-calculator.php#prices)

    Money saving expert (http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/energy-saving-myths) supports the above stating:
    “Electric heaters are one of the most expensive forms of heating. Generally, the cheapest way is using an efficient gas central heating system, with a full set of thermostatic radiator valves, a room thermostat and timer.”

    Put simply using your Gas Central heating for 4 hours a day will, regardless of property size, save you money, keep your student housing nice and warm whilst preventing mould growth.

    Changing Gas / Electricity supplier

    Living in private student accommodation with Posh Pads allows you to choose and select your energy supplier; many of our tenants tend to stick with their original supplier on a variable length contract. With the cost of gas and electricity on the rise the UK government has sought to fix energy prices (BBC 2013) whilst this is unlikely to happen students can keep their houses warm for less. Simply combining gas and electricity bills from the same supplier and paying by direct debit the total cost is likely to fall.

    Using price comparison websites for energy presents a wide range of variable priced contracts. Through moving supplier from Southern Electric to Spark Energy tenants can save £320.00 per annum for exactly the same energy usage (Which Switch 2013).

    Better heat programming / energy monitors in your student house

    By programming and setting your thermostat temperatures to 18 degrees to come on twice daily for a total of 4 hours and turning it down for the remaining time can save up to 10 – 15% of energy usage per annum. Speak with fellow tenants to agree timing, setting the heating to start half to an hour before waking up will warm the house and make it comfortable to start the day then again in the evening. Using an energy monitor in your student house will allow you to track when usage is greatest, the amount you are spending and which items cause spikes, allowing tenants to better use electricity and save energy.

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  • Student houses receive cavity wall insulation!

    Posted on: September 26, 2014

    Posh Pads recently worked with L & M insulation to have 50+ student houses filled with cavity wall and loft insulation throughout October and November. Tenants on Gordon Avenue and Highcliff have already noticed the difference with their student accommodation being much warmer and not losing heat.

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  • Student viewing season: updated.

    Posted on: September 26, 2014

    Having been busy the Posh Pads team and our tenants have got the word out about student lettings for the 2014 – 2015 letting season, with our new leaflet promoting our houses and accommodation throughout Southampton. 3 days in it is all hands on deck having received over 100+ enquiries and student accommodation is being signed. Potential tenants have mentioned getting in touch and organising student houses earlier to ensure they find a better house than last year when they had left. Further information about our Southampton student accommodation can be found by clicking here.

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  • Student Houses 2014 – 2015

    Posted on: September 26, 2014

    With the student letting season in Southampton starting in November Posh Pads have been gearing up. As per usual our gardeners have been working hard keeping bushes, trees and front gardens tidy, whilst our sister company the Soap Opera cleaning company will be visiting soon to clean all front doors and porches.

    To help attract students to join Posh Pads for 2014 / 2015 first year students have been receiving our “Keep calm and get yourself a Posh Pad” leaflets, giving potential tenants and idea of the service we provide.

    Posh_Pads_Leaflet_2014_2015

    More recently we have made a few changes to our website easing navigation and providing more information. If you take a look at Posh Pads property gallery you can now see more of our properties and find the addresses where they are located. All of our student accommodation has been primed for Rightmove whilst we have now added floor plans for all of our houses, helping you to choose the bedroom you want.

    Since carrying out our customer survey in July Posh Pads have continually been working to keep our tenants better informed, deliver consistent quality maintenance whilst aiming to exceed expectations. To help achieve these goals Posh Pads have taken on a new property management system allowing us to deliver you better customer service by keeping a track of rent, maintenance, conversations, etc helping improve communication.

    To aid and improve maintenance Posh Pads have taken on further full time skilled maintenance staff including a handyman and another carpenter. As per previous letting years Posh Pads still offers a 24/7 emergency phone number for tenants and directory of Posh Pads services, minimising maintenance resolution time.

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  • Desirable Student Accommodation

    Posted on: September 26, 2014

    Stylish, high quality and comfortable are all words tenants can used to describe Posh Pads student accommodation. When sharing a house, features such as dishwashers, tumble dryers, double beds, property maintenance and gardening should be on a tenants check list ensuring you find a desirable property. With each property renovation Posh Pads aim to evolve and increase the quality of our student housing, such as including vanity units, backlit mirrors, flat screen tv’s and energy saving led lights. Our portfolio of Southampton and Portsmouth student houses range in size, features and rental price, to find exactly what you want look early to ensure your needs are reflected in the property.

    Large living room on Westridge Road Southampton

    Large living room on Westridge Road Southampton

    Kitchens

    As our properties and specifications have evolved Posh Pads now install desirable high quality kitchens, featuring large format tiles, pelmet lighting, stylish work surfaces, ceramic hobs, electric fan ovens, microwaves, dishwashers and tumble dryers (where space permits), etc.

    Bedrooms

    In our student accommodation Posh Pads supply work desks, wardrobes, shelving & double beds as standard. Whilst most rooms also have chest of drawers and bedside tables, more recently our student houses are supplied with memory foam mattresses.

    Living rooms

    Posh Pads student houses all have a living room / area, where space permits a dining table will also be provided. Having a living room in your student accommodation allows tenants to escape bedrooms and provides a space to relax and enjoy the property with other house mates.

    Dishwashers

    Many of our properties feature dishwashers, ideal when sharing a house, helping to prevent a gathering of washing whilst keeping your utensils clean. If you choose a student house with a dishwasher ensure you rinse / remove food waste before washing, preventing potential blockages, keep rinse aid and salts topped up regularly to ensure a good clean.

    Tumble dryers

    Whether you are in a rush, forgotten to wash your clothes or prefer not hanging your clothes to dry tumble dryers / washer dryers are provided in most Posh Pads student accommodation. Tumble dryers allow you to dry clothes without hanging clothes throughout your student house, cluttering the property or potentially condensing and creating mould growth on walls.

    Picture Rail

    Throughout our Posh Pads picture rail is installed allowing photos, decorations and pictures to be hung, allowing our students to make their house a home. Hooks can be purchased from a local hardware store or found online.

    Bathrooms

    Having a bath presents the option to relax in your student house and unlike student halls of residence our properties have larger bathrooms. At Posh Pads we aim to retain baths in our houses whilst adding over bath showers preventing indulgence affecting usability.

    Take a look at our property gallery to see more.

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  • Living well in your Student House

    Posted on: September 26, 2014

    All rooms need to breath, open your windows / bedrooms doors regularly to ventilate, this will prevent moisture from condensing in your room and sitting on the walls. Usually moisture in the air will condensate, onto the nearest and coldest surface (usually a window or external wall) to prevent damp or mould growth leave your trickle vents open (if you have double glazing), open the windows and curtains often. Ventilation also provides the benefit of helping to keep your student house share smelling fresh!

    Winter

    Throughout the winter months, the weather will get colder and so will your house, ensure you have the heating on regularly, or place it on a low temperature continuously, allowing the whole property to warm. Using a tumble dryer, where provided, or placing clothes outside will allow your clothes to fully dry, instead of drying in a bedroom or hallway preventing the moisture from building on cold surfaces and possibly turning into mould.

    If, per chance, condensation has had the opportunity to settle, simply wipe it off the windows and frames using a sponge, a little warm water and some detergent. If your problem persists, send the Posh Pads maintenance team an email and a visit can be organised to rectify the issue.

    Bathrooms and Kitchens

    All our student accommodation bathrooms and kitchen have extractor fans, when cooking, showering, etc ensure they are turned on! Do not turn the isolators off. If your extractor is not working as well as it should be, simply contact maintenance to organise a visit / repair.

    Bedrooms

    Posh Pads have installed air vents in a few of our student houses where rooms may require a little more flow, to help increase ventilation, do not cover these, by doing so you are encouraging mould to grow. Rearranging your furniture to make the place your own is fine, although make sure you leave slight gaps from the walls, allowing air to circulate and humidity to dissipate.

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  • Student Property Investment

    Posted on: September 26, 2014

    UCAS reports that in 2013 385,910 students have been enrolled / accepted onto University courses throughout the UK, a 9% growth on the previous year (UCAS, Aug 2013), this combined with an increase of 2.9% in applications across the UK and student rents progressively increasing, by a reported 3.1%, between 2012 – 2013 (Independent, Sept 2013), student property investment presents strong prosperous prospects.

    The Independent reports Southampton to be the best place for buy to let investors looking to purchase and develop student accommodation in the UK, with average yields of 7.82% per annum (Independent, April 2013), continuing to suggest student property investment in Portsmouth being the 10th highest ranking investment city returning a 6.55% yield, positioning property management with Posh pads strongly.

    Posh Pads offer investors a full service student accommodation investment service in both Southampton and Portsmouth, including property find, purchase and development through to finding tenants, collecting rent and providing statements. Combined with 20 years of student property investment experience Posh Pads are able to deliver strong returns on student accommodation and housing of multiple occupations.

    Through offering high quality student accommodation Posh Pads have previously let 90% of our accommodation before Christmas, demand for modern desirable home from home student house shares outstrips supply each year, creating a strong case for student investment opportunities in Portsmouth and Southampton.

    With low buy to let interest rates being offered (ie Money.co.uk, Sept 2013), demand for student housing and rents increasing (Telegraph, Aug 2013) Posh Pads are proud to share experiences and advice to help any landlord to build or grow their portfolio.

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  • Finding your Posh Pad Student Accommodation

    Posted on: September 26, 2014

    With the student letting season starting at the start of November, the cream of the crop is available first. Our best Posh Pads student houses in Southampton and Portsmouth are let on a first come first served basis. So you will need to find a group of friends and decide on a size to share your house with, get an idea of your budget and what you are looking for from your second or third year student accommodation.

    Student House Share Checklist:

    1. Group size – Posh Pads offer from 1 Bedroom to 10 Bedroom houses
    2. Location? – keep reading to decide
    3. Budget? – Bear in mind a difference of £5 per week could get you a stunning Posh Pad!
    4. Timing.. – Get viewing as soon as possible; make sure you get the house you want!

    Smaller houses and flats are few and far between, a student flat will usually rent for a premium due, thus sharing with a group will bring your costs down and give you more space. Dependant on which University you are studying at, Solent, Southampton or Portsmouth, you should prioritise the areas in which you would like to live.

    University of Southampton

    Students studying at the University of Southampton predominantly search for houses in Portswood, Inner Avenue, Highfield and Lower Swaythling. Highfield, as students will know, benefits from close to both Avenue and Highfield Campus, being a short distance walk for lectures, although is a further distance from Portswood, near supermarkets and nightlife, where most students reside. Portswood is a suburb of Southampton, generally offering large Victorian properties, in near vicinity are bars including Sobar, Jesters and the Hobbit, supermarkets nearby include Sainsburys and Waitrose. Inner Avenue / Lower Portswood hosts less student accommodation, with a larger mix of residents, creating a slightly more peaceful area to live.

    Southampton Solent University

    Southampton Solent University students tend to find accommodation in the Polygon, Inner Avenue and the City Centre areas. The Polygon hosts most Solent student accommodation, close to Bedford Place this area offers independent café’s, bars, restaurants and nightlife, most tenants living in this area can walk to University within a 10 – 15 minute walk. Inner Avenue is just off the Avenue, making similar walk to Solent University and Bedford Place, the area tends to provide larger houses than those in the Polygon whilst also provides a nicer environment. Southampton student house shares are also available in the City centre, being a short walking distance from all required amenities.

    University of Portsmouth

    In Portsmouth, Posh Pads offers student accommodation in Southsea, all within a 10 – 15 minute maximum walking distance from the University. Houses from Victoria Road North towards Gunwarf Quays are those in greatest demand, a University of Portsmouth bus link runs along Winston Churchill Avenue providing access to both campuses.

    Arrange a Viewing

    To arrange a viewing with Posh Pads click here or call 023 8008 1000.

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