When renting out a student property, things work a little bit differently to normal properties.
Whether you are a seasoned student landlord, or looking to purchase your first student property, we have listed a few things to consider.
1. Getting the property right
Although different tenants will always have varying sets of criteria, there are some essential features which every student home needs.
The most important aspect of a student property is the location. Students want to be around other students, nightlife, and the university which they are studying at.
As a lot of students don’t have cars, properties on the outskirts of the city will not be very popular with them. As a general rule, try to stick around the city centre, or most big cities will have easy-to-spot student areas.
The property itself is also important – students predominantly look for double rooms, so a property with no single bedrooms will be much more popular than one with them. It is also important to consider the amount of bathrooms compared to the amount of tenants, and as students, a good communal area is always a big selling point as well.
2. Bills included?
Lots of student landlords opt to offer an all-inclusive package, meaning that broadband, utilities, and water are all included as part of the rent, however, some prefer to leave it to the tenants.
Bills included makes students’ life a lot easier, as there is less for them to sort, meaning that it is generally more desirable for them, the rent can obviously be higher to cover the cost of the bills.
With a high turnover of tenants, it also means that the suppliers won’t need to be switched and sorted constantly, and you are in control of the service to your property.
Excluding bills, however, reduces any risk of the tenants overusing and being wasteful, and also makes your life easier as it’s less for you to sort out.
It could also be argued that advertising a property without bills would attract more sensible and responsible tenants, as they are happy to sort this themselves.
3. Tenancy Dates
This is another area which is a bit different for students, and gives you a couple of options to consider. Students will generally be in the property during term times, and vacate in the summer.
Different landlords like to tackle this in different ways, some will have a tenancy running just through term time (for example September – June,) whereas some will want the tenancy to run right up until the next one (September 1st – August 31st,)
By utilising a tenancy that runs only through the term, you will be able to charge slightly more rent to cover the vacant months, however it is still desirable to students as they aren’t paying for three months’ rent when they won’t be at the property.
This also gives you time in-between tenants to get the property ready for the next tenants.
With a full 12-month tenancy, you will be covered for rent throughout the year.
It is also desirable for international students, who may not be able to go home over the summer, and still need somewhere to live.
However, it does mean that there isn’t any time in-between tenants, so any work that the property needs, will need to be done with tenants in, and you are relying on the tenants to leave the property in a liveable condition for the next tenants.
4. Relationships with tenants
As with any rented property, it is important to be on good terms with your tenants.
With student properties, this is definitely the case; most students will begin to look at a house for the following year around February-April, this means that tenants will always be living at the property whilst viewings are being conducted.
Therefore, it is important to remain on good terms with them, if you help them out with things, they will be able to help you by making sure the property is clean and tidy for any viewings.