A recent study by landlord insurance provider, Towergate, unveiled how landlords can better target student tenants in the UK.
The study of 500 undergraduates revealed certain mismatches between how landlords are conducting their businesses and how students would prefer them to.
Product, price, location
According to the survey, the average student in the UK pays between £300 and £499 per month to rent a room in a property they share with at least two other tenants.
Large bedrooms are the most sought-after property feature for students – so much so that landlords can greatly benefit from converting the living room into an additional bedroom.
What’s more, most students would pay more money if their landlord provided cleaning services as part of the tenancy contract.
Although the student property market is fast-moving, 68% of students would prefer to remain in the same property throughout their time at university.
Surprisingly, the majority of students (64%) would prefer to live close to a supermarket than restaurants, bars or even their university campus. Some 43% can commute to their university campus within 15 minutes, while 28% rely on public transport to get to lectures and seminars.
Staying on top of communications
The survey also revealed that most students would rather use email to communicate with their landlord than any other method. Only 5% of students have communicated with their landlord through an instant messaging app like WhatsApp, whereas 15% say they would prefer to use the telephone or email.
Although just 15% of students are dissatisfied by their current accommodation, 20% say they have had disappointing experiences with landlords.
Landlords who are slow to respond and deal with any issues reported is the biggest gripe, with 73% of students citing this behaviour as the most frustrating. This was closely followed by landlords who visit unannounced – which is, in fact, illegal.
Alison Wild of Towergate commented: “Student accommodation can be a rewarding investment for landlords. However, it’s important that student landlords consider the insurance implications of renting out houses in multiple occupancy (HMOs) as well as the possibility that the property may annually be empty for over 30 days and therefore require unoccupied property insurance.”