16th Nov, 2018

Coventry University forced to sell off family houses it bought for student flats

Editorial Correspondent 9th May, 2018 Updated: 9th May, 2018

COVENTRY University is selling off the majority of family houses it bought for conversion to student flats because of falling demand.

The estimated £8million sale of 24 homes is the most significant signal yet that the boom of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HiMOs) in Coventry is on the wane.

A spokeswoman for the university said: “Students nowadays are looking for more modern accommodation that better suits their needs.

“We feel the time is now right to sell these houses as there is no longer so much demand for these types of properties.”

The news will be welcomed across Coventry by residents who maintain their communities have been eroded by “studentification.”

Residents will hope at least some of the 24 houses being sold – in Earlsdon, Spon End and Hillfields – will be bought by families and revert back to traditional homes.

Realistically, the ones with up to 10 bedrooms will probably be bought by other landlords attracted by the potential of more than £1,000 a week in rents, free of council tax or business rates.

But Coventry University’s decision to sell indicates they will be chasing a diminishing market of customers.

Its spokeswoman added: “The property market has changed significantly in the 25 years since we bought these houses.

“We recently opened our first university-owned purpose-built accommodation for 14 years, The Cycle Works, which provides housing for about 350 students, and we are moving our focus away from housing our students in residential areas.

“The rental agreements on these homes are due to expire this summer. All students affected have been contacted about the sale of the properties, informed of their options and given support to find accommodation elsewhere, if they need it.”

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