Record year for University of Edinburgh letting arm

A service run by the University of Edinburgh specialising in private lettings for students is looking to sign up more properties after graduating to its best year yet.

Thursday, 15th August 2019, 3:26 pm
The team at Edinburgh-focused Domus the venture relaunched in 2018. Picture: contributed.

Domus dates back 20-plus years and relaunched in 2018. It allocates students from their second year onwards private sector and university-owned homes in the capital on a first come, first served basis. In its most recent academic year it housed 860 students in more than 300 properties.

The venture enables landlords to receive a rental income, without the “headache” of managing tenancies as the university looks after all aspects of letting.

Domus also said it attracted a record number of landlords to its portfolio in the last year, and is calling on more property-owners to join for the new academic year, with demand from students still far exceeding supply.

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Michelle Christian, director of property at the University of Edinburgh Accommodation Catering and Events, said: “Domus continues to prove a compelling and competitive package for landlords, as it takes away so much of the stress of letting, guarantees rental and manages all aspects of student tenancies.

"So much so, we would welcome many more through the door – as we could comfortably allocate many more homes than we currently have available.

“Students love the service too – it helps them to ensure they get a suitable and comfortable home with a landlord they know and trust – with students at the heart of what they do.

“Finding somewhere to rent in Edinburgh can be difficult for students, especially as for many this will be their first time entering a rental agreement and we can help them.”

Domus said that provided the homes are available for the new academic year in early September, the leases can be flexible, with either 12 or nine-month options, “ideal for landlords looking to free up properties for the festival lettings”.

All surplus profits generated are kept within the university, for wider benefit to students.

Separately, the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) has launched a dedicated Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) Centre after debuting a programme in this area, saying it is a “first of its kind” in Scotland – and hoping that it leads to further progress in this field.

KTPs are a flagship programme from Innovate UK and UK Research and Innovation – and in Scotland, they also receive support from the Scottish Funding Council.

They are a three-way partnership between a business, an academic institution and a graduate. They see the academic institution employ a recently-qualified graduate, known as a KTP Associate, who works full-time at the company and brings new skills and knowledge.

The university stated that it was recently listed as one of the UK’s top ten KTP providers, and securing eighth place for higher education institutions across the country. Additionally, UWS has 24 KTPs with businesses across the UK with a value amounting to £5 million.

Craig Mahoney, UWS principal and vice-chancellor, said: “Our KTP success clearly demonstrates that our research activities have direct relevance to, and applicability in, world-leading industries and businesses.”