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Feb Wed 10, 2016, 10:35 AM

4 things you need to know about becoming a Student Landlord

MortarboardsAt the moment more and more people are becoming landlords due to the fact that there is such a huge demand for private rented accommodation. Furthermore, letting out a property can be a great way to make some extra money, and many are even seeing it as a way to create a nest egg for when they retire. However, this means that most people don’t consider letting their properties out to students as the preconception is that students are difficult to work with and they have little respect for the properties they live in.

While it may be true that student lettings do take a bit more work than others, they can also return exceptionally high yields are generally extremely easy to fill. So if you are debating becoming a student landlord here are four things you need to know:

Not all students are the same

The argument goes that stereotypes and generalisations are generally based on some form of truth, and to be fair it is true that there are students that will not look after your property and can be a bit of a handful. However, before this puts you off the idea of becoming a student landlord altogether have a think about all the different types of students there are in the UK. For example, there are a huge amount of postgraduate students who are studying for Masters Degrees, PhDs or Medical Degrees that generally spend most of their time studying and less time partying! Postgraduates students are ideal to let to if you are just getting into the student landlord sector, however don’t forget not all are as studious as others!

Letting your property is easy

One of the best things about becoming a student landlord is that it is relatively easy to let out your properties each year as most students aren’t incredibly discerning when it comes to choosing a property. As long as they are clean and come with basic furnishings you will find that there will be a number of students that will want to live in your houses, meaning that you won’t need to spend a vast amount of time or money marketing your properties and arranging viewings. If you really want your property to get snapped up fast then make sure you offer desks in each tenant’s bedrooms, a decent washroom and a well maintained kitchen, these are things that most students are looking for!

Dealing with students can be hard

There are times when being a student landlord can be extremely trying, especially if you are stuck with tenants that are not reliable and don’t look after your properties. However, the more you let out your properties to students the more you will learn how to deal with any issues, and also what types of things you need to protect yourself against. For example, if one of your tenants misses a rent payment then you need to make sure you contact them straight away and find out what is going on. Shorthold Tenancy Agreements are extremely important when letting to students, especially as they contain all the information that will ultimately protect your business, so make sure yours are extremely detailed before even thinking about handing over the keys!

Help is on hand

Even though your Shorthold Tenancy Agreement is extremely useful when it comes to letting a property to students, there are also other ways you can get help such as hiring a letting agent. Most university towns have a number of letting agencies in them, so make sure you do your research and pick one that will not only look after your business but also be fair to your tenants. Letting agents can also help you when it comes to helping you protect deposits in registered schemes, drafting up inventories, applying for an HMO licence and arranging unoccupied property insurance for the summer months when your properties will be empty.

If you are thinking of becoming a student landlord then having a look at some student towns is a great way to get a feel for the area, and don’t forget that you can also talk to the university in order to find out more about the private rented sector there! Even though you may have to adapt as a landlord at first, the benefits can be great, so do some research and don’t rule it off straight away!

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