Letting a property to university students can come with its own set of challenges, like a high turnover rate of tenants and an increased risk of wear and tear.
However, there are also many benefits to letting to this demographic. There are millions of university students in the UK, and many choose to live off-campus in shared housing or purpose-built student accommodation. Student rentals are in high demand, which presents a lucrative opportunity for landlords!
In this blog, we’ll show you how to maximise your return on investment as a landlord letting to students.
Be a responsible landlord
Being a responsible, dependable landlord will help you to maximise the return on investment of your property.
You should conduct regular inspections of the property to ensure that it is safe and being looked after by your tenants.
You should also be on hand to listen to your tenants’ concerns and answer any queries that they may have. It can be handy to have a helpline for tenants to call you on if any maintenance issues or emergencies arise.
Keep the property well maintained
Making sure that your property is always kept in great condition is an important part of maximising your return on investment. A well maintained property is one that retains its value, and one that students want to live in!
This means dealing with any maintenance issues in a timely fashion, and ensuring that everything is in working order. You should also keep the property looking neatly decorated and fresh- so if this means a lick of paint once a year, go for it!
Make sure that you use sturdy and functional furnishings which are updated every so often to avoid the property looking tired and worn. After all, your property is your business, so keep it up to scratch!
Manage your rents well
To maximise your return on investment, you need to make sure that rents are paid on time to avoid arrears building up.
Before you take on a new group of student tenants, screen them diligently. Ask relevant questions about finances and their student status.
To make expectations about rent payment clear, ensure that the tenancy agreement expressly states which date rent will be collected each month. You could also ask your tenants to set up a direct debit once they move in so that their rent is transferred automatically to your bank on the same date each month.
Ensure that your tenants have guarantors. As your tenants will be students, they have neither a steady income nor an established rental history, so a guarantor needs to sign the tenancy agreement as well. This gives you a way to reclaim missing rent payments should your tenant fall behind.
If you are nervous about the possibility of rents not being paid, another option is to ask for rent up front. For example, you could take six months of rent in advance. This acts as a security.
Location, location, location!
One of the most important factors in ensuring your student rental property is successful is the location.
Ideally, your property should be situated close to campus or in the main student area. It should also have excellent public transport links so that students can get around conveniently, and there should be amenities like supermarkets and shops within walking distance. The area should be safe and well-lit.
Investing in a property that is located in a student-friendly area will help attract a steady stream of students and increase the price that you can charge for rent.
Provide features and benefits that will give you a competitive edge
The student rental market is competitive, so you need to make yourself stand out.
One way to do so is to provide a student package rather than just simply a room to let. You could advertise the package as utility bills, contents insurance and rent as a single payment per month. This will attract students who want to save time on paying for all of these things separately!
You could also offer special perks such as a cleaning service once per month, or something as simple as televisions in the property. All these small things add up and show that you are conscious of your tenants’ comfort.
Consider offering flexible leases
Some students are only at university for a few months or a semester, due to studying abroad or taking a work placement. For students like this who might not want to commit to a contract that spans the entire academic year, a flexible lease option could be very attractive.
Consider whether this is something that you could feasibly offer as a landlord.
Market your property effectively
An effective marketing strategy is crucial for every student landlord. To reduce the chances of your property staying empty, you need to increase its visibility by advertising it where students can find it.
This is where Roome comes in to help!
Roome is the first platform that brings together students, landlords and letting agencies to facilitate straightforward, hassle-free letting of student rental properties.
Save on your marketing efforts by using Roome to advertise your property (for FREE!) to a huge pool of students across the country!
Roome also saves you the hassle of arranging viewings with students. With our technology, students can automatically book viewings at a time that works for both parties.
Tenants upload their guarantor information straight onto the app, so there is no need for you to play cat and mouse!
Roome offers a range of services to make students’ lives easier, such as rent collection and protection, contract drafting, property management, and even photography and 3D modelling of properties.
We hope this blog gives you some more insight into maximising the return on investment of your property as a student landlord.
At Roome we recognise that this can be a really tough business, which is why we’re here to make student landlords’ lives more straight-forward and hassle-free. Check out our website, or connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram to find out more!
Posted by Owen Redman
Co-founder of Roome