Students are known for being good tenants – they’re likely to pay their rent on time, as they often have a guarantor, and your property will almost always be in high demand, if you buy in the right location.
Whether you own a portfolio of student properties, or you’re entering the sector for the first time, it is important to know how to target this type of tenant and offer accommodation that they’ll want to stay in and look after.
With the student accommodation market set to get buzzing again any minute now, ensure your property is ready for new student tenants with these top tips from Landlord News, your specialist source of updates and information for landlords.
The 10 things students want from their accommodation are:
A bit of luxury
It’s a known fact that some student accommodation isn’t up to scratch. If you’re offering a private student house to let, provide double beds to attract tenants that value a little bit of luxury. While double beds are becoming commonplace in private student houses, putting them in each room of your property will be a welcome feature for those students that have been stuck in halls of residence for the past year.
Lock it up
Even though students that live together in a private house will likely be friends that have got to know each other well, most will want to know that their belongings, especially food, are safe. Putting padlocks on the kitchen cupboards will help students feel secure in their new house and avoid any tenant disputes, which could cause problems for you.
Location, location, location
Whichever tenant type you’re targeting, choosing the right location is vital. But being close to university is often the number one priority for students. Most students will want to be within walking distance of their campus, so consider buying a property within a small radius of the university. If you invest in the wrong area, you could put many potential tenants off.
Pay the bills
While you’re not expected to pay the bills for your tenants, it is a good idea to include all bills within the rent price. Students can often live in large groups, which makes it difficult to pay different bills. Setting the rent price inclusive of bills will also help keep tenants’ finances in line, which should reduce the risk of rent arrears. Keep it simple to appeal to the widest range of tenants possible.
Home sweet home
Student tenants can sometimes feel isolated in their new homes; they may have less personal space and the property can feel less homely than what they’re used to. Providing a living and dining area will attract students that want to spend time socialising with their housemates, and they might be willing to spend a bit more for the extra space. Converting a downstairs room into an extra bedroom isn’t always the answer!
Certain areas in university towns and cities can become notorious for being rough or dodgy, so avoid choosing an area that students will automatically rule out. Picking a location that is not only close to the university, but is also safe will ensure that your tenants feel secure in your property. This will also offer peace of mind to their parents, who will discourage their children from living in run-down areas.
The most important room in the house
While most students are happy to share a kitchen, many would prefer the comfort and privacy of an en-suite. Although if may be difficult to find a rental property with en-suites in every bedroom, you really will be a cut above the rest if you can offer tenants their own bathrooms. Try to find a property with as many bathrooms as possible – no one wants to share with nine other people!
Gardening may not come to mind when you think of students, but some outside space will definitely appeal to tenants. Whether it’s a balcony with a flat or a small garden with a house, set your property apart from the competition with some outdoor space for tenants to enjoy. However, make sure it’s easily maintained – you don’t want to find a jungle growing in the backyard when the students leave.
Cater to their needs
Remember that students won’t have as many household appliances and items as young professional or family tenants, but they will still want to cook and make use of the kitchen. Putting in some cheap but useful kitchen appliances will attract the right type of tenant to your property. Microwaves, toasters and kettles are essential, but offer something different like a blender or a toastie maker.
Students love to stay social at home, whether that’s time spent online or sitting around the TV with their housemates. You must remember that their home is not just a place to study - always offer fast broadband and consider putting in a large television in a living area so that they know they can feel at home in your property.
Student property can be an incredibly lucrative investment option, but you must remember to attract the right type of tenant to ensure that your property is let out at all times.
Follow these tips on what students really want from their accommodation to get your property let!