School may be out for summer but now is the time for would-be student landlords to think about pressing ahead with purchasing property.
Spiralling university admissions has seen an increasing number of students looking for rental accommodation to live in for the next academic year.
You could be forgiven for thinking that students will not be picky about the fixtures and fittings in their accommodation. However, as Cate Warren, Lead Designer at Cate Warren Interiors notes, ‘anyone thinking that students are happy to live in run-down properties with tired décor and decrepit, flat-pack furniture are so far off the mark.’
‘The student market is highly lucrative for investors and landlords-but likewise the clients in the student market are extremely discernible. They demand attractive, styled properties that are furnished to their specific needs.’
Warren believes that, ‘in turn this makes them become better tenants who are respectful of their rented properties and will look to maintain and care for them. So, getting it right means you can command higher rental rates with tenants who will minimise the need to pay out further sums in redecoration or repairs once they leave. Get it wrong and you could be left with unwanted void periods or tenants who are disrespectful and bit too accident-prone when it comes to fittings and furnishings.’
Tips and tricks
There are a number of tips that you can follow to ensure that your student property investment can be viable for a number of years:
Prioritise fittings-A student will require a desk and work space for them to complete their assignments and will also need shelving to store books and other material. Work out how best you can utilise their space.
Durability is key-When dealing with furnishing rental properties, durability is always important. This is particularly so with students. It is unlikely that they will have any cooking or cleaning items, so furnish your property with essentials such as crockery, pans and cleaning materials. Make sure you are not constantly having to claim on your insurance through poor preparation.
Don’t be afraid to be neutral-Students can differ in age, background and preferences, therefore it is a good idea to start from a neutral base when looking to furnish and spruce up your property. Paint walls in neutral colours and allow students to personalise their space accordingly. Keep features such as carpets neutral and of low cost.
Provide the mod-cons- It is unsurprising to learn that in a recent survey, 88% of students said that they considered a good internet connection to be imperative when selecting a student property. Why not throw in super-fast broadband into the deal? Yes, it will cost you a bit more, but you are likely to attract better tenants who will take more care of your investment. It is also well worth considering providing all-inclusive bills, so students know where they stand financially every month. This way, the chances of rent arrears are likely to be much left.