Leeds agency doubles workforce as demand for student lettings soar

A Leeds student letting agency has double its workforce after increased demand for properties in a post-lockdown world.

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 11:45 am
Left to right – Directors Charlie Aston and Richard Napier

Sugarhouse Properties, which also caters to young professionals, has seen a significant increase in demand for high-end student lets and professional house shares throughout the summer.

The company said this is in part due to large numbers of students deferring their university places in 2020 because of the pandemic.

However, it also believes it is due to rising standards of student and young professional accommodation, making the move towards independent living more appealing than ever before.

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The new Sugarhouse Properties office in Headingley.

Director of Sugarhouse Properties, Richard Napier, said: “Young people are, quite rightly, much more discerning these days and expect higher standards of accommodation and extra support and services in their homes."

As a result of the increased demand for high-quality properties, the company has had to double the size of their existing workload.

It has now relocated to a new office on Headingley Lane to accommodate the new team.

Sugarhouse Properties also launched a new concierge style app to help support their tenants.

Named Sugar Hive, the web-based app offers concierge-style support for tenants to integrate with the local community and make the most out of their new home. It also offers health and wellbeing support, including tips on how to look after your mental health.

Mr Napier said: "Not only do we offer properties that have all the mod cons, and are clean and comfortable, but we also offer lifestyle and wellbeing support to tenants through the Sugar Hive App, and try and include all bills in the rental price so there are no hidden costs or headaches.

"We pride ourselves on trying to put responsible landlords in touch with quality tenants as we cater for the ever-increasing demand for multiple occupancy housing within the Leeds area.

"With three popular universities in the city, and graduates often choosing to stay in Leeds, letting agents need to be thinking bigger picture because many students will stay in the area when they graduate and we love seeing our student tenants turn into professional renters and stay on with us.”

Sugarhouse has also taken steps to ensure that the energy they supply to each property is green.

Since 2016 they have been supplying electricity created by wind farms, sun and sea to their Leeds properties, in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.

At least 15 per cent of their gas supplied is green, with the remainder being carbon neutral.

Each year the business pays for three carbon-fighting trees to be planted as part of a carbon offsetting scheme.

Mr Napier said: “We’re trying hard to make a difference, as a business, to provide great quality housing whilst also ensuring we don’t damage the planet.

"We are consciously working towards being paper-free by introducing digital signings, virtual viewings and promoting online interactions which all help to reduce our carbon footprint.

"Sustainable living is becoming ever more important to our tenants, and we feel we have a duty to make sure that we factor this into our business model so we can try and do our bit.

Sugarhouse properties recently partnered with Headingley-based bars Manahatta and Box to offer freshers a free drink to welcome them to the city.

They also help organize social events for Leeds newbies so they instantly feel at home.

Richard concluded: “Leeds is such a vibrant city with so much to offer students and young professionals alike.

"We want all of our tenants to love Leeds as much as we do, so we’re doing everything we can to connect them with great landlords who care, as well as helping them find their feet and learn all of the great things the city, and surrounding areas, have to offer.

"It’s an exciting time for the property lettings market and we’re delighted to offer those points of difference that help us to better connect with our customers.”