If you are a landlord letting to students, the new academic year is a hectic time. You should be busy over summer preparing for this moment. However, no matter how much work you carry out in advance of the new term, it always comes around quickly.
At StudentCircle, we are pleased to say we have helped many landlords meet the needs and expectations of students in Coventry. There is a sizable student population in Coventry ( actually one of the biggest in the midlands) and there is a high demand for student accommodation. If you are looking for assistance in providing the best rental accommodation options in Coventry and surrounding areas, please get in touch.
Ensure your tenancy agreement is in order
One of the most important documents you will have as a landlord is your tenancy agreement. This is a document which should be signed by yourself and tenant. The contract details the terms and condition of the lease.
If you are letting to more than one student in the property, you can decide between offering a joint tenancy or a single agreement for each tenant. There are pros and cons for both of these options, so think about the one you believe provides you with the best support and cover. Also, think about which option is best for your tenants.
As a landlord, you should look out for your tenants, and the tenancy agreement protects you and the tenant.
If you offer a joint tenancy, all the tenants sign the same agreement and are jointly responsible for the costs. If a single tenant doesn’t pay their rent, the other tenants are liable for this money. If a sole tenant leaves the rental property before the tenancy agreement ends, the remaining tenants are responsible for finding a replacement tenant.
When each tenant has their agreement, there is no collective responsibility. A joint agreement provides a landlord with added cover and protection, so it is easy to see why many Coventry landlords prefer this option.
If you do provide tenants with a joint agreement, make sure they understand the consequences of this agreement.
Be mindful of HMO regulations
It is likely your property is classed as a HMO, houses in multiple occupation. This classification means some properties, and landlords, have to comply with further regulations.
Remember students don’t pay council tax
Students are exempt from paying council tax, but there is a need to obtain an exemption certificate from your council. If you are unable to prove your property was let to students, you may be liable for outstanding council tax.
Students are exempt from council tax, but they’ll need to get an exemption certificate from the council, which often involves providing proof of their student status from their university. Bear in mind that if at a later date you’re unable to prove that your property was occupied solely by students, you may be liable to pay the outstanding council tax.
Provide furnishings for students
While there is a debate to be had as to whether landlords should provide furnished or unfurnished property, this isn’t the case for student accommodation. Students are usually moving from home for the first time in their life, and may not have a lot of furniture to bring with them.
It is customary that landlords who let to students provide a furnished property, including beds, desks, and tables and couches for any general area. You should also offer white goods for the kitchen area.
While offering furnishings is the basic a student landlord should offer, you can provide more guidance to help your tenants settle in. At the very least, you should provide instructions or a manual on how to use each device or appliance you provide for tenants.
However, if you want to make life as easy as possible for tenants, go further. Take the time to show tenants in person how to use these appliances. You can also create video content, so landlords have a handy reminder of how to use these white goods or electrical devices, even when you aren’t there.
Dealing with Antisocial behaviour
As a landlord, you have a responsibility to prevent or minimise antisocial behaviour from your tenants. This task is a daunting prospect for many landlords. With most students living away from home for the first time, it is natural they will be boisterous. Many students are experiencing their first taste of freedom, and perhaps are enjoying their first opportunity to enjoy the many aspects of social life.
It is highly likely there will be parties at the property, and that tenants may negatively engage or interact with the local area or neighbours. As a landlord, you must remind tenants of the need to behave maturely. You should communicate with tenants regularly, trying to develop a close working relationship.
While tenants may seem as though they are having the time of their life in student accommodation, there will be times when many feel stressed or under pressure. Students who face exams or are struggling with a new lifestyle need support, and they’ll likely turn to landlords for guidance. If you don’t feel comfortable with this, develop skills in this area or at least know where to direct your tenant. If you can help tenants obtain help, you’ll provide them with a high chance of settling into student life, and making the most of their studies.
The students’ university may be able to help you deal with antisocial behaviour, and it’s always a good idea to have regular contact with your tenants so that you can deal with any issues swiftly.
At Student Circle, we know the start of a new academic term is an exciting time of year. We also know it is a challenging prospect for landlords and tenants. Moving into student accommodation is often of the best moments in a person’s life, but a lot of work is required to ensure this is an enjoyable experience.
If you are looking for letting options in the Coventry student accommodation market, or you’re a landlord looking to meet the needs of the Coventry student market, get in touch. We are pleased to say we have helped landlords and tenants in Coventry, and we look forward to helping you get the new academic year off to a flying start.