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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Student lettings agency pledges growth through strategic acquisitions

A specialist student accommodation lettings and property management company says it’s preparing to grow through a series of strategic acquisitions.

Bankers have given entrepreneurs, and former University of Lincoln students, Harry Conti and Marcus Askam-Yates - both in their 20s - the green light to grow their company, Student Housing, with a £2.6m acquisition fund.

"We've been looking at the market for some time, and while we are growing at a really fast rate, other lettings agents are struggling. Now is the ideal time for us to expand by buying other letting agents" says Conti. 

He has also made a direct pitch for a local Countrywide branch which he suggests has an uncertain future.

”If you look at Countrywide, the company that owns Lighthouse Property Services in Lincoln, it has lost 97 per cent of its share value in the last 12 months alone. Many industry experts believe Countrywide will not be around in the next few months. Several branches have closed and many senior managers have been laid off recently, so the company is clearly in a downward spiral.

"We're worried about where this leaves landlords and students renting through companies like Lighthouse Property Services. What will happen to them if Countrywide is not trading in September when students return to university?

"We've sought finance to acquire the Lighthouse brand from Countrywide in the event of the collapse which will allow Student Housing to provide a seamless transition for students and landlords currently with Lighthouse."

“By acquiring Lighthouse, we would be able to ensure that all tenants move into their accommodation as planned without disruption and landlords to continue to receive an income."

Student Housing claims to be the largest specialist student lettings and property management company in Lincoln, providing accommodation for more than 1,000 students in some 300 homes.

As well as Lincoln, Student Housing recently opened a Nottingham office.

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