The student market can prove to be an extremely lucrative area to target if you’re interested in real estate or renting properties for profit. Students tend to have student loans and grants (so have a guaranteed source of income to pay their rent and bills) and are also more likely to house share (meaning you can rent out your property by the room rather than as a whole). However, seeing as students tend to be relatively young and there’s a pretty good chance that this is the first time they will have lived away from their family home, renting to students can prove to be a relatively testing process.
It’s likely that you will be dealing with tenants who have never previously been through the process of renting. You may find yourself having to explain different parts of the process and jargon to them — for example, explaining the purpose of deposits, describing why they might need a guarantor, and letting them know how contract renewals are processed. Many students also tend to lead more active social lives than the average person — they are experiencing their own taste of freedom for the first time and may engage in behaviour that other adult tenants may never dream of engaging with. But on the whole, students are pleasant and compliant as long as you are a good landlord to them. So, how can you be a good landlord to students in particular?
Promoting your property on the right platform where students are guaranteed is key to finding the best student tenants. At Housemates, we don’t currently charge landlords to list on our platform to our international student base. You can sign up here: http://bit.ly/landlord-signup
The majority of landlords will focus on ensuring their properties are in peak condition when they first put them out on the market. This will help to draw in potential tenants, encouraging them to sign a contract and choose your property over others in the area (the student rental market is pretty saturated and there is competition between landlords in areas surrounding campuses). However, you need to make sure that properties that are inhabited by tenants are just as well maintained as your properties to let. You need to make sure that all properties are in a liveable, safe, and hygienic condition. Gas safety checks need to be carried out annually and electrics should be tested at least once every two years. You need to make sure that your tenants can contact you should any problems with any aspect of the property arise. Damages and faults need to be put right as soon as possible.
As we have previously established, when you are letting to students, you are likely to be letting to people who have little experience in living independently. You may need to guide them in the right direction, laying out clear expectations, and ensuring that they know how to deal with situations that many of us would consider “common sense”. You may need to advise them on how to top up the boiler, how to air the property properly to reduce mould, and how to defrost the freezer.
Student deposits should be stored safely in a deposit protection scheme. If a student has caused damage to the property, you should provide them with a quote of the repair work that needs to be done and deduct this from their deposit. If the property has simply gone through expected wear and tear, this is your own responsibility to deal with and you need to refund the deposit in full.
Renting to students really is a great opportunity and definitely something that you should consider if you’re looking to make significant profit in the real estate market. Just make sure that you are always a good landlord to your tenants and that you don’t exploit them!
If you’re looking to find the right student tenants sign up our app free and start listing your properties: http://bit.ly/landlord-signup