To Let: Student Living
Letting to students can be very profitable if the property in question is well managed and well looked-after; therefore providing accommodation that is both safe and in good condition. You need to hold realistic expectations about how much any maintenance will cost and also to consider wear and tear, as this will always cost a lot more in a rented property compared to a family home.You can rent pretty much a large proportion of types of housing to students. Typically, a student house would consist of three to four bedrooms and is usually semi-detached with two bathrooms. Students don’t tend to share bedrooms and they normally expect double beds or at least good queen sizes. Whilst looking for a property to rent to students, you may find a three bedroom house with one or two reception rooms, these can be easily converted into extra bedrooms. The sizing of the rooms is probably more important than the lounge or bathroom. Students would rather study in their own rooms so as long as they have at least 70 square feet available and a desk/office chair combination, they’ll more than likely to be attracted to a small room as long as there is some space available.Any house you rent out to students must have central heating, preferably gas or electricity. You can install ‘pay-as-you-use’ systems to ensure the tenants aren’t over-using too much. Bear in mind, sometimes central heating can accidentally be left on over a holiday period such as Easter or Christmas, therefore running up a very high bill that can’t often be paid. Be prepared for unpaid bills and trouble paying off outstanding debt. Not all students are stereotypically as bad with money as society may lead us to think but make sure your property is a decent price and has the basic appliances every student needs. Double check the maintenance and operation of heating/hot water as these are probably the two most problematic areas in student properties. Well-built systems with simple controls and instructions will do the trick. The expectations of students are normally pretty standard. They don’t expect a palace but a fully furnished and equipped property will get you tenants. Safety and security also add to these expectations and requirements. A basically decorated house with a good alarm and locking system will be more attractive then a large unfurnished house without secure locks. Kitchens should have enough storage depending on the amount of tenants – at least one cupboard per student. There should also be enough space for a large fridge/freezer, a good-sized oven and a hob unit. In terms of bathrooms, they should all be fully tiled for easy cleaning with a bath or shower and a good fan to prevent mould and rust formation.Finally the location is vital, including the distance to and from the university campus. Houses should ideally not be any more than a mile away but some tenants may be more flexible especially if living close to transport links or having their own car. And to increase the interest of your property, broadband and a TV are both good selling points that will improve your chance of a let. So all in all, location, size, space and amenities are all the major factors that go towards a final contract. If you’re letting more than one property, make sure they are all up to the same standard – no matter how many rooms. And a good selection of property sizes will increase your letting chances and make you a popular name on the market. Going local or private is up to you, but you’ll have more work to do if you decide to work purely on recommendations.