Becoming a landlord and renting to students, things you should consider first
If your considering becoming a landlord and renting to students, in this article, we go over some important topics which every potential student landlord should consider.
Why you should be renting to students?
With over 2 million students studying throughout the UK and Ireland every year, student rentals can be a lucrative option for many landlords. We’ve previously gone over the pros and pitfalls of renting to students, so check that article out.
To quickly summarise:
- You can maximise properties earning potential by renting out multiple rooms on individual occupancy contracts
- The student market is fairly predictable with an influx of new and returning students returning year on year
- Students, in general, tend to be less demanding in terms of what they expect and you don’t need to have the latest interior designs or furnishing
Which property types are best suited when renting to students?
Property location is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a student property. Ideally, you want a property with good transport links which provides access to universities, shops, bars and entertainment spots.
In regards to the type of property, ideally, you’d want to look at properties with 3+ bedrooms. Some students look to rent in large groups of up to 12 people but the majority tend to be in groups of 3-5. It’s also quite common to convert a dining room or attic/basement room into an addition student room which you can rent.
Having some form of communal area is fairly important, so it’s best to have at least one room where students can gather and congregate together. Other things which could be considered as ‘nice to have’s’ but not necessary a necessity, would be, parking space, a garden and multiple toilets/bathrooms.
Should landlords consider using Homes of Multiple Occupancy Contracts (HMO’s)
Compared to renting out the whole property on an individual tenancy, HMO’s can ensure less hassle for both the landlords and students.
It’s fairly common that some students will wish to cancel their tenancy, which can be for a multitude of reasons. HMO’s are useful as they place the responsibility of both rent payments and deposit onto each individual student. This means, if in the worst-case scenario, any individual student does wish to move, the responsibility to meet any contractual agreements lay with that particular student.
Another benefit of HMO’s, is that it also makes it easier to sublet rooms out over the summer months and make even more money renting to students.
You can find further information about HMO’s on the UK governments website.
When renting to students how should I furnish the student property?
Furnishing a student property when renting to students will be slightly different from furnishing regular accommodation. Students will expect a minimum range of furnishings in each of their individual rooms as well as the whole property itself. One benefit when it comes to furnishings is that you don’t need to spend too much money and can quite easy pack out your property with modern and stylish cheap furniture (think Ikea!).
Individual Student Rooms should have:
- Room Lock
The Student Home Or Student Apartment Should have:
- Washing Machine / Dryer
- Oven Cooker
- Fridge Freezer
- Hoover, Mop, Dustpan brush and basic cleaning items
- Tools for any expected basic home or garden maintenance
What we have listed here is really just the minimum requirement in furnishings and equipment and you may need more than what we’ve listed, depending on the type of student your marketing too. We would advise doing some further research about renting to students and the various segments that the student market can be broken down into.
A good place to start would be to read the Student Accommodation Survey.
Knight Frank in collaboration with UCAS have produced the report. It provides insight into the opinions of over 60,000 students and how their university accommodation choices and preferences which can help landlords who rent to students or are considering renting to students, make more informed decision and plan more effectively when choosing student housing or property and deciding how to furnish them.
How can I be a good landlord when renting to students?
Renting to students is slightly different compared to renting to families or working individuals.
It’s important to realise, that for many students, this will be their first experience living independently. This can often result in students misunderstanding their own responsibilities as a tenant.
To help students better understand their own responsibilities, it can be a good idea to provide a welcome pack. These can be used to set out clear rules and each of the responsibilities the student has as a tenant.
The pack should contain:
- Outlining of basic rules in easy to understand the language
- Useful contact numbers
- Bin collection dates
- Appliance instructions
- Home/garden maintenance expectations
Another way to be a good landlord is to be reliable and available when issues do arise, it will help greatly in building a good relationship with your student tenants. It’s important to remember that many students will refer other students to landlords that they have had good experiences with and if you have any social media or web presence, getting good reviews can help boost your reputation as a good landlord.
Being an unreliable landlord can have the opposite effect and with the rise of social media word can quickly spread. Receiving bad reviews or getting a bad reputation can have a negative impact on your student rental income and ability to rent to future students.
What is a Rental Exchange Scheme?
The Rental Exchange Scheme provided by creditladder.com allows student tenants to strengthen their own personal credit score and history by simply paying their rent.
It’s also a great benefit to landlords, as it encourages students to ensure that their rent is paid on time.
Where can I advertise my student accommodation?
You can advertise your student properties here at DiggzHunter. All landlords get one free advert and it’s completely free for students to use. Check out further details about advertising with us here and get your free ad posted up in five simple steps.