A new term brings tremendous opportunities. For some students, it is a fresh start, whereas, for others, it is a unique opportunity to reinvent themselves. Of course, the beginning of a new term doesn’t have to be about a significant change. Any student or professional who is enjoying the course on their own should look to keep doing what they are doing, but perhaps better.
The start of a new term is also an excellent time for landlords to get back to basics, and make sure they are doing the fundamentals right. Even if you have enjoyed success as a student landlord in recent times, is there anything you can do better? If you are new to the industry or you want a refresher course on how to provide a better standard of service, it doesn’t hurt to go over the fundamentals.
Why do you want to let to students?
Not every landlord wants to let to students. There are very different thoughts on the industry, and if you don’t think you will be comfortable letting to students, that is fine. That is positive news for the people who are committed to letting to students.
With the student rental market, you can feel confident about a high level of demand for accommodation, and there is an opportunity for more extended rental periods to arise. These provide the opportunity for landlords to enjoy a higher rental yield, which is why many landlords decide to let to students.
When does the new term begin?
The academic year begins in August and September of year. Many students will have been scouring the market for the best flats since January, so you may feel you are a bit behind by starting now but don’t worry.
There are many reasons why students are still looking for rental accommodation in summer, in fact, there are many valid reasons as to why students are only beginning their search in June, July or maybe even later.
Some students have their lives mapped out in front of them, allowing them to look for new term accommodation as early as January. Some students don’t. Students who are dependent on grades to get into University or College can’t make plans until they receive these qualifications, and this often happens in summer.
There will be students who weigh up their options, and you can guarantee that some students will wait until the last minute to decide what to do next. In an ideal world, people would know what they plan to do months in advance, but this is far from a perfect world. If you are looking to let to students for the new academic year, you still have a chance to pull everything together and enjoy a successful year.
What properties perform well in the student market?
If you are on the lookout for a property that would be ideal for the student market, consider one with a minimum of three bedrooms and which provides a sizable communal space. There is a lot to be said for offering students a place where they can congregate and unwind. It is good to give people their bedroom where they can enjoy privacy, study, entertain guests or relax but equally, you want to ensure students don’t become isolated.
Many students are living away from the family home for the first time, and it can be a challenge to adapt to new surroundings and a new way of life. Knowing that other people are experiencing a similar situation is helpful, as is having the chance to socialise with these people, making life more comfortable.
As a landlord, your choice of property can facilitate this, and when students are happy, your life as a landlord is more comfortable.
Other factors to consider when looking at the rental property include:
· A convenient location within walking distance of campus
· Transport links
· More than one bathroom or toilet
How do I market the home to students?
Nowadays, student homes can be promoted in the same way as a traditional let. The emergence of the internet means people begin their search online, so you want to have an online presence. Also, get in touch with local Universities and Colleges, as they are likely to have a list of approved rentals. If you can get yourself on to that, you will improve your chances of connecting with tenants.
You should also consider working closely with an experienced professional in your local area. Local expertise and knowledge are crucial when reaching out to an audience, and your choice of agent or property market specialist will help you reach students.
Is insurance essential?
You need to ensure you have sufficient insurance for your property, and standard home insurance is unlikely to cover. Standard landlord insurance may not cover you if you provide student accommodation, so it is vital you speak to your insurers and adequately inform them of the nature of your accommodation.
You may wish to consider the benefits of rental income, which protects you against non-payment of rent. If you cannot afford to manage many missed payments from students, be proactive and give yourself additional cover and peace of mind.
What furnishing should I provide?
Students expect fully furnished property, so you should prepare yourself to invest in furniture and requirement at the start of the letting process. You should provide a bed, carpets, curtains, lampshade, a fridge and preferably a freezer too, a washing machine, a cooker, wardrobes, a desk and chair for each room, a sofa for the communal area, bins and anything else which makes life more comfortable or easier for tenants.
Do I need to be aware of special legislation?
If you intend to let to occupants who share the home, you’ll need to ensure you comply with regulations regarding Houses in Multiple Occupations, or HMO. This may not apply to all landlords, so check if it applies to you, and if it does, make sure you are up to date with the required regulations.
Some quick overview tips to get you thinking as to how you can provide the best student accommodation:
· Speak to experts and professionals in the field
· Make sure you have suitable insurance in place
· Understand the importance of maintenance and repair work
· Comply with all relevant health and safety regulations
· Price is crucial, so get this right
· Make sure you create an inventory
If you’re a landlord looking forward to the new term, but you need support, contact Student Circle. We are local student property specialists, and we look forward to assisting you.