“We’ve seen some of them more than our own kids recently!” York’s Best Landlord Awards 2024

(Image: Kaitlyn Beattie-Zarb)

Earlier this month, in a cosy, modern theatre at the York St John University (YSJ), students, staff, and a range of local landlords gathered to celebrate the work of good landlords who look after their York student tenants. 

Celebrating the launch of the new ‘Rate Your Landlord’ platform, the dual students’ unions of the University of York and YSJ hosted an award ceremony to celebrate those landlords who received high praise from their tenants, and who continually ensure these students are looked after in their homes away from home. 

The event was hosted by York St John Student Union president Matt Blackstock and YUSU’s Community and Wellbeing Officer Hannah Nimmo.

Starting with a speech from the University Vice-Chancellor Charlie Jefferey, the VC noted the importance of the event.

“It really is a pleasure. We are here celebrating outstanding landlords, and a partnership. A partnership between Unipol, the City of York Council and these two universities.” 

Noting how between the two universities, the city of York educates over 30,000 students, with 7000 of them working in the city.

Jeffery noted their “huge economic impact” and went on to highlight how “in all of that our students need somewhere to live.”

“We appreciate all the more those landlords who provide an excellent experience for our students. I think Rate Your Landlord can be a really important part of that.” 

York St John Director of Estates, Management and Development Nick Coakley reiterated Jeffery’s enthusiasm for the event saying, “it’s not just about providing a place to live, it’s about providing a first home away from home.” 

Coakley looked forward to watching how the event could celebrate the “unsung heroes of the housing world… and empower student voice.”

“I hope that it is just the beginning of a greater presence of Unipol in York.”

Keith and Julie Edgell, the Best Landlords in York’s 2024 awards, and the Officer’s Pick
(Image: Rate Your Landlord)

Turning now to the awards themselves, we saw the event split into awards based on the highest ranking landlord per category (based on ratings given by students on Rate Your Landlord), and awards based on the comments submitted by students, chosen by the union sabbatical officers. 

And the awards go to… 

Best Landlord:

  1. Keith and Julie Egdell – Egdell Properties
  2. Geoff Bogg – Valley Properties
  3. Oliver MacDonald

Best Managing Agent:

  1. Sinclair Properties
  2. 2Let Agency
  3. I G Property

Best Purpose Built Student Accommodation Provider:

  1. iQ Student Accommodation
  2. Vita Student
  3. Homes for Students

Most Caring Landlord:

  1. Geoff Bogg – Valley Properties
  2. Pat and Catherine Marshall
  3. Shaun Yeomans

Officer’s Pick: 

  1. Keith and Julie Egdell – Egdell Properties
  2. Mark and Fiona Ellwood
  3. Oliver MacDonald

As all the excited winners climbed the stairs and received their prizes with their moment in the spotlight, (and yes lots of photos), we gained an important glimpse into the humans behind the landlord industry of York.

The people who work hard to protect student interests and look after student renters. These are businesses and landlords who actually care about their work, which isn’t usually the side of landlords we get to see. Celebrating them was a treat for all gathered. 

Another treat were the numerous appearances by YUSU President Pierrick Roger, YSJSU Student Advice Coordinator Chris Prior and Unipol Project Consultant Lotti Morton who often stepped in – with energetic results and a good sense of humour – whenever a landlord was absent.

A fabulous burst of lightness and laughter throughout the largely very enjoyable evening. 

Valley Properties and Keith and Julie Edgell Properties won big in the first ever awards.
(Image: Kaitlyn Beattie-Zarb)

Following the awards, Vision spoke with winners of Best Landlord and Most Caring Landlord, Keith and Julie Egdell, and Geoff Bogg respectively.

We discussed that the award winners think makes a good landlord, “Being on the end of the phone, I think and actually doing something. Treat the students as if they were your kids,” Keith shared.

Julie elaborated, “We know what it’s like as parents. You want somebody to treat them right. They are just like the extended family really.”

“We’ve seen some of them more than our own kids recently!” said Keith.

Geoff Boog then described the problem solving aspect of the job: “We’ve had (the students) through uni, and we’ve all had the experience of somebody ringing up and goes the washing machines packed up. Well, if it was one of our kids ‘what would you want them to do?’ You’d want it fixed, tomorrow. So we do.

“You might as well just get the job done. Because it’s not gonna go away… ‘If something goes wrong just let me know’, I tell them.”

“You’ve just got to not be in it to make loads of money,” simplified Julie

The landlords were also glad to have a chance to share some of their favourite stories:

“I once had a call from one of the girls dad’s, the girl had managed to lock herself in the bathroom… I’d had two or three pints, but we jumped in the truck and headed down to York to get her out. Once we’d got maybe half way there, she called saying ‘I found a nail file, I’m out!’ ” – Geoff shared with a laugh.

“We once had a burst pipe while everyone was away for Christmas,” Keith elaborated.

“So we came home, broke our holiday and spent all Christmas week cleaning the house. It was a nightmare over Christmas,” Julie continued.

Finally, we discussed what being awarded by their tenants means to these hardworking landlords. 

“Well we like them to stay with us, it’s nice to know that they want to,” Julie shared.

“We’ve got those three houses that we’ve known for three years, and they’re finishing this year. I’m gonna be quite sad to see them go. You know, you get on,” Keith said.

“You get very attached,” said Julie.