- Academic years usually run from July to June each year.
- Most students start their first day during September, but this varies from course to course and also between educational establishments.
- An academic year is split into academic terms – usually three – four if including Summer term.
- The timing of these academic terms is vital when seeking or providing accommodation.
- If a prospective tenant approaches a letting agent for accommodation with a term starting in September, but ending three months later, then this should cause alarm bells to ring for agents and landlords.
Why? Because at the end of this short tenancy, letting agents in Canterbury will not easily be able to re-let that accommodation to conventional students, whose academic year ends in June. The number of non-conventional students who might rent from January to June is so small, a void would be likely. So “the bird in the hand” in this instance is not “better than the two in the bush”. Better to leave the accommodation vacant and wait until a conventional student arrives to remain for the whole year.
This is not to say, however, that you should never accept students ‘out of time’. There may be commercial reasons why such a decision might occasionally be prudent. Should the same student arrive in February and only wish to rent until May, then a letting agent might consider that this is a reasonable compromise, since the property might otherwise remain unoccupied until June.
Prudent landlords and letting agents keep records enabling comparisons with past and future months and years; supply and demand, together with observations in market trends, as well as political and economic factors, all improve letting success when analysed.
- If a tenant leaves before the end of the academic year, in January for example, it will be very difficult to find a replacement. This is because most students have already found accommodation for the whole academic year.
This topic is also related to Dropouts.