Claire Flynn, mortgages expert at Confused .com, has given 12 tips for anyone considering investing in student housing.
“Investing in student properties can be rewarding when balanced with providing fair and decent living conditions. By understanding market trends, types of accommodations, and student needs, landlords can make informed decisions to optimise their investments” she says.
- Research the market - “Make sure you research the student housing market well. Research typical rent costs, popular areas, and demand. Considering students ' budget constraints, align your offering with market needs without overpricing.”
- Choose the right location - “Choose somewhere close to universities, shops, and transport links. Ensure the area is also safe and has a good reputation. Being close to the universities and other amenities can make properties more attractive.”
- Provide fair rent prices - “Be competitive yet fair with your rent pricing. Keep rents affordable to attract more students and avoid empty periods. High rents won’t make more money if students can’t afford them.”
- Create durable, low-maintenance interiors - “Use durable, low-maintenance materials inside for longer-lasting wear. Use sturdy furniture and go for a contemporary, simple style that most students like. This reduces long-term costs and increases appeal for students.”
- Regular maintenance and inspections - “Inspect the property often to keep it in good condition. Address repairs straight away to prevent minor issues from becoming significant problems.”
- Set clear tenancy agreements - “Ensure tenancy contracts state the tenant's duties in maintaining the property. Include guidelines on reporting damages, maintenance requests, and cleanliness standards.”
- Build a good relationship with tenants - “Build a respectful, professional relationship with tenants to encourage them to take good care of the property. Be responsive to their needs and concerns. This could potentially lead to longer tenancy periods.”
- Security deposits and guarantors - “Set a reasonable security deposit to cover potential damages. It's common to ask for guarantors for student renters for added financial security.”
- Offer inclusive bills - “Consider including utility bills and internet in the rent. Providing rent that includes all bills simplifies things for students and makes a property more appealing.”
- Put in place a fair wear and tear policy - “Set a reasonable policy for everyday wear and tear versus actual damage. This clarifies what they're responsible for when they move out.”
- Ensure proper insulation and heating - “Ensure the property has good insulation and heating. This can help students save on bills, make the property more attractive, and reduce energy waste.”
- Promote long-term tenancies - “Encourage students to sign longer leases. This decreases turnover and times when the property is empty. You should also maintain consistent rental income.”