When letting to students, as a landlord, it’s important that you realise they are a different kind of tenant altogether. Students can be an exceptionally good option for landlords, especially because student housing is in such high demand, and even when the academic year is over, there are still students looking for summer accommodation to tide them over until the next year.
The demand for student accommodation is consistent. Students will never not need accommodation, and the prices are very competitive. Student contracts are usually for the whole academic year, meaning from September to June/July, but the majority of students prefer to stay where they are if they can, because it means that they don’t need to move back home for a few short months, or find a new place to live in for the summer. Student properties often charge per room, rather than for the entire property. As a landlord, you could potentially be earning more for the rent of your property than if you were to rent privately.
There can be some downsides. Student properties tend to suffer from a little more damage than standard properties, but this can be solved by ensuring that each tenant puts down a deposit, and making it clear that they won’t get it back if the property is maliciously damaged at the end of their tenancy. Student properties are also fully furnished, as most students move out of their parent’s home with their own belongings, and no furniture. Student housing is supposed to be convenient, above all else. Basic furnishing for a student house is usually beds, wardrobes, white goods for the kitchen, and some living room furniture, such as a sofa, and a television set. Optionally, you may consider providing an iron, ironing board, and a hoover, as these are items that students often forget about.
The best time to market to students is usually any time from January for the next academic year. However, courses can have staggered start dates, and your housing applicants may not be undergraduate students, so if you have the space, you could market your room or property at any time during the year. You’d be surprised how many students are looking for a quick move.
Properties that are suitable for students often have at least 2 bedrooms, though the majority have between 4 and 6. Large communal spaces are ideal, and particularly appealing to student life. Preferably, 2 bathrooms, or a single bathroom and an extra WC is also ideal. Properties that have gardens are also enticing to students, as it allows them more room to socialise, and if the house is within walking distance to the University, then you’ve definitely hit a goal.
To market your property, use online property sites. These are the easiest places for new students to check, and it will always be the first place they look when they can’t get into their University’s halls of residence. If you can, try and get on the approved list of rentals that most Universities now have, which lets students know that you’re a trusted landlord.