Landlords around Coventry face more misery as two desperate developers have announced plans to advertise new purpose-built student accommodation to the private residential sector.

Council planners have approved the change of use of two student blocks at Eden Square in the city where a total of 123 beds will be available across 14 five-bedroom cluster units, 35 studio units, and three six-bedroom townhouses.

The units will form a ‘co-living’ site for students and private renters, says Kier Property Developments. It blames the pandemic for slow progress on site and uncertainty over student numbers – particularly overseas students – during the 2020/21 academic year.

A separate application to change the use of 89 student rooms at UNINN Infinity on Parkside to residential has also been lodged by the developer UNINN, which would see one studio apartment and 88 cluster flats offered for rent.

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Changes will be temporary until 31st August, when they’ll revert to student-only use.

Apple cart

Patrick Sullivan (left), MD of Red Brick Lettings in Coventry, believes it’s not good news for private landlords.

“This is going to upset the apple cart in a huge way,” he tells LandlordZONE.

“I’d also put it forward that temporary will become permanent, affecting the private landlord market even more. This has happened in other cities before Covid as well.”

The move follows news last month that 500 Coventry and Warwickshire landlords face trying to find new tenants for their student HMOs after the University of Warwick ditched its property management scheme.

The university has been working with Coventry City Council and developers in recent years to build thousands of extra student rooms in purpose-built blocks.

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