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Bath Building Society and UniCommodation have developed a special package for  university students and their parents who wish to enjoy all the advantages of buying a property rather than renting.

Combining UniCommodation’s ability to source and refurbish a property with the Society’s unique mortgage product, both parents and students can make finding somewhere to live at University a positive experience rather than a trial.

Q1. Why should I buy a property and not just rent?
  • You will have total control over the property you live in and are not accountable to a landlord over the terms of your tenancy or the standard of your accommodation.
  • The value of your home may go up in the fullness of time, leaving you with a profit on your investment. (The value of your property in the current environment may also fall).
  • Why pay a landlord rent when you can invest your money in owning a property instead?
  • You will not have to worry about unexpected increases in rent or being forced to move house while at university. (However the rate of interest may rise on your mortgage).
  • You may benefit from a rental surplus from the students sharing your house; this surplus over the mortgage payment could offset the cost of your education.
  • The average age of a first time buyer is now 37. This scheme enables students to get on to the property ladder much earlier in life and own their own property. This investment may give you a head start in life as a working adult.
Q2. What service does UniCommodation offer?

We find the most desirable property in a suitable and well-researched location for your chosen university. We then refurbish it to the standard you require and assist you with all the documentation relating to its purchase and subsequent letting of the property.

Q3. How far away from the Uni can I buy the property?

Within 10 miles for all universities in England and Wales.

Q4. What sort of property should it be?

Sufficiently large for up to four occupiers (including the student as one of the residents). If houses are any larger, it could create legal issues relating to Houses in Multiple Occupation. It can be either a flat or a house, as long as the expected rental income meets the Society’s lending criteria. A 3 or 4 bedroom property is ideal. The maximum mortgage available is £250,000 or £300,000 inside the M25.

If you require further specific clarification then please contact us for further information.

Q5. When should I buy the property?

The general rule is – the sooner, the better. To allow plenty of time for the purchase and refurbishment of your house, we suggest buying in November/December if possible so after the Christmas break, the student has time to secure friends to share with in September. April/May is the absolute latest you should buy – we’d recommend not leaving it that late if at all possible.

Between the date of purchase and the time (usually end of September) when the property is required for occupation, the mortgage product allows the property to be let to the open market on a 6 months Assured Shorthold Tenancy to support the mortgage payments. This is useful if you do buy early. 

Q6. Which solicitors do I use?

Our nominated firm is supported by the Bath Building Society. They will deal with both the mortgage-related and property matters on your behalf.

Q7. What type of letting arrangements must I have with my fellow students?

A Licence, which allows sharers to occupy. Don’t worry - this documentation will be provided on completion.

Q8. Are there any property exclusions?

Ex-local authority flats or blocks of more than four storeys (six storeys if lift served) are excluded from the scheme.

Q9. What happens after I’ve graduated? What do I do with the property?

You can either continue to rent it to students or privately thereby receiving investment income. Uni-Commodation can assist with this if required. Alternatively you can sell it and transfer the mortgage to another property in another location – this may help as you get your first job and still remain on the property ladder.

Q10. What are the Capital Gains Tax implications?

There are certain advantages to owning a property such as this as your main residence. Ask your Independent Financial Advisor to clarify this matter.

Q11. How can I ensure my tenants pay regularly?

We suggest that their parents have a standing order to a joint bank account for regular rental payments, as well as the payment of the mortgage.

Q12. Should I expect capital growth in the future?

Property prices in the UK have traditionally doubled every ten years or so since the second World War. This may be one of the motivations you have for buying as opposed to renting. However you also need to take into consideration that the value of your home could fall in this recessional environment.

Q13. Should I buy in my first or second year?

The advantage of buying in the first year is that you have the property available to show to potential friends you wish to share with; however it may be important to spend the first year in halls to build up links with other new students attending the university and to identify friends that may want to rent with you.