With another academic year around the corner we run through the student rental fundamentals.
The latest figures from UCAS suggest that we could be seeing more students than ever before, with close to half a million securing a place at university in 2015. A record number, this rise reveals thousands of potential new tenants - so what are the dos and don’ts of succeeding in this complex but lucrative market?
First, let’s start with the dos.
Research your renters
Students tend to cluster in areas close to their universities, with easy access to transport, shops and pubs top of their priorities. Bear this in mind if buying for students - they aren’t suburban renters typically - and seek out existing student properties to see which areas are popular.
Learn your yields
Yields can differ drastically depending on where you buy, so research extensively to get the best deal possible. At time of writing London offers some of the worst yields at around the 2% mark, whilst more student-friendly cities like Liverpool, Hull and Manchester can offer around treble that.
Tailor your tenancy agreements
Shorthold contracts tend to suit students best, so be willing to shift things around to suit their needs. Elsewhere, consider creating a joint agreement if you’re letting to a group. This means they’ll either need to replace an outgoing tenant or collectively shoulder their rent.
Most students struggle with cash flow, so it makes sense to gather guarantors. From the outset of any contract try to get them in place, and explore loss of rent insurance too – just for some added accident protection.
Now for the don’ts…
Expect extensive background checks
The bulk of students you’ll be letting to will be in their late teens or early twenties, so you needn’t be too alarmed if they struggle to raise references. Instead seek recommendations from tutors and teachers and get those guarantors just in case.
Forget to put an inventory in place
Students tend to party more than your regular tenants, so make sure you agree on the state of your property prior to any rental. Should any deposit disputes arise a signed inventory is a handy asset.
Given the riskier nature of student lets insurance ought to be an essential, so head over to our specific landlord insurance page to get to grips with the covers. Ultimately, a decent policy should save you money in the long run.
Take your tenants for granted
Students aren’t the type of tenants you want to treat unfairly, especially in the age of smartphones and social media. Bad experiences will spread quickly - perhaps to the likes of Huffington Post - so do your best to create a habitable property. You don’t want to end up in the press…
Do you let property to students? What dos and don’ts would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.