It has been almost two years since I was last involved in the letting of student property: I guess time really does fly when you’re
having fun sorting your life out! For those of you who don’t already know, Smarter Housing went belly up in May of 2010 after failing to collect more than £200,000 in rent. In other words, student tenants cottoned on to the fact we weren’t chasing rent payments and, in many cases, stopped paying completely. Eventually I will get round to blogging about some of the events that took place between August 2008 and May 2010, however pretty much everything happened because I took my eye off the ball whilst sorting some personal problems and, without proper management, the company stopped functioning properly. In particular, we stopped consolidating the rent book (even though bank statements & receipts were completely up to date). Lesson learned!
Despite the fact Smarter Housing hasn’t been trading for so long, the website still appears in Google searches for ‘student accommodation’, ‘student property’ and ‘student housing’, particularly for searches including ‘Leamington Spa’ or those conducted in the areas surrounding the University of Warwick. Anyone who ends up clicking on Smarter Housing link is automatically (301 – for those interested in SEO) redirected to my post announcing the company’s failure.
11th January 2012: University of Warwick Students’ Union Housing Day
Upon signing into Google Analytics this morning I noted a massive spike in traffic for terms related to the student letting calendar. This can mean only one thing: today is the housing fair at the University of Warwick!
For anyone who lands on this blog in search of a student property for September 2012, I regret I can be of no assistance – as much as I would like to! However, I know a company who can: S&J Estates – Quality Lets in Quality Locations.
S&J Estates – who, what, where, when & why
You can contact S&J Estates via their website or on 01926 336 220. They are based out of my old premises, 13 Spencer Street in Leamington Spa and the following Google map should help you find them (walk down the Parade & turn right at the main bus station by the Parish church, walk 20 metres and they are on your right hand side).
People have asked me why I am so keen to promote S&J Estates. Am I involved? Yes and no. On the one hand, I am neither employed by S&J Estates nor have I done any paid work for them. However, the company owner – Stephen Hughes – also owns S&J Accountancy Services who were brought in to help sort out the financial disarray at Smarter Housing. After conducting a full review of my accounts, they have been working with a number of Landlords in order to help them recover their losses. Obviously, I have been on hand to answer any questions and I have also been used as a witness in multiple County Court claims against students who had evaded paying rent under the management of Smarter Housing. One thing led to another and before you know it, S&J have branched out from accountancy to the management of student property.
Over the past 18 months I have come to know the people at S&J and I think they are well worthy of your business. They have the same goal of letting only the best student properties and, thanks to their accounting arm, do a much better job of rent collection than I did (post 2008 anyway).
Happy house hunting