Renting to student has advantages and disadvantages, just like any demographic, but there are definitely some features of this market that are enticing. The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) in the years 2017/ 2018 reported there were 2.34 million students – this is a large pot of possible tenants…
If you are thinking of heading towards student lettings, you want to make sure you are ready to carter for this exact demographic. These are the basics of the student specific rental sector – the 101 of renting to students specifically.
In terms of what properties will be right for the student market, you can be safe with HMO property types. These are expected for a student demographic, and are easier to manage than a traditional property rental variety. We have loads of material, in both book and blog form, about the advantages of HMO verses a more traditional rental property. Just be aware that the student market will involve renting a property as a HMO.
Invest in furniture
Student properties are almost always fully furnished. This may mean you need to go to somewhere that stock a large amount of practical furniture that is well put together (such as a large Swedish shop, also famous for their meatballs…). Our advice is that you will need: beds, bedroom furniture, white goods, seating like a sofa, desks for each bedroom, a dining table, and vacuum cleaner. However, other optional items include coffee tables, bookcases, and anything you think will fill out the property. These are an investment, of course, though we would advise making sure you don’t get any expensive items, as when renting to students you may find that it gets damaged or broken…
Market to students specifically
This is an interesting process; as students are young people and because of that it often helps to try and reach them via the latest methods of social media! Try and market on a social media site, and see if you are getting any luck, if not then revert to more traditional methods of marketing. Students are still tenants, so don’t be afraid to just have adverts on the online rental sites. One feature of having students, when operating a HMO property, is to make sure you are on any list of approved properties and approved HMO properties that are published or distributed by the local university – this may mean contacting them directly and making sure that you definitely make sure to stay on top of issues with the property.
Sort out rental payment methods
Make sure that you let the tenants know the rules around paying rent, and set out the issues accordingly. This may mean that you provide a joint tenancy agreement – this is where if one student doesn’t pay the rent, their housemates are responsible for the costs. The same happens if one student leaves the property early – it is up to the remaining tenants to find someone to fill the gap or cover the costs.
You also need to make sure that you are providing everything that is listed in the items listed, any issues or problems will be reported by your tenants – the student rental sector is one where there is a lot of ‘word of mouth’, and they are often aware of their rights and the latest legislation, so be aware.
Make sure you sort your insurance and council tax
If you are unaware, students don’t pay council tax. It’s clever to let the council know about the student tenants and provide some form of proof that they are currently in education. This can become an issue if you are charged for a year of tax that you don’t owe…
In terms of insurance, try and look for specific student rental insurance, or at least make sure that your current policy doesn’t include a clause that states “no students”. Of course, no one ever wants to have to claim on their insurance, but if you need to, you need to make sure that your policy is correct.
If you want to know more about leasing to students, get in touch via the contact section or our website and we’ll be happy to talk to you about the student rental market. What’s more, there loads of great Nick Fox books available where you can learn all about how to lease to students – have a look at them today.
Nick Fox started his property investment career 10 years ago and his portfolio has grown to one of the largest in the UK. Nick now mainly focuses on HMOs (houses in multiple occupation) and works to help others achieve property success too. Visit here to find out how he can help you.
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