Landlord and property

5 Myths about Student Letting


It’s an important decision, deciding whether to become a student landlord or to let your property to professionals. But with myths and misconceptions surrounding student letting, many landlords shy away from becoming a student landlord despite the fact it can be a particularly lucrative endeavor – especially if you pick the right location.

Here we’ve uncovered the realities that landlords face when letting to students, and busted five total myths about student tenants...

1. Students don’t care about location

While most students have limited budgets, it’s a common misconception that they’ll live anywhere in pursuit of cheap rent. In fact, our research* shows that living ‘close to university’ was an important factor to 67% of students surveyed when choosing their rental property – far more important than having a garden (4%) or even a parking spot (12%).

Living in a property ‘located within a safe area’ was also in the top three for 31% of students, with 29% also wanting to live ‘close to town’. This shows that, while students may be price-conscious, ultimately they’re likely to be looking for somewhere to rent within a few miles of campus, in a convenient location for supermarkets, shops, gyms and other useful amenities.

Thinking about renting to students? Take the time to find a property that’s in a prime ‘studenty’ location to attract the right tenants. If you’re unsure of the town or city you’re intending to rent a property in, Accommodation for Students provides comprehensive reviews of many different areas in each university town in the UK - all from students themselves.

*Private student accommodation explore, Endsleigh and YouthSight report, November 2017

2. Students don't respect property

The days of low student living standards are over, with student tenants now expecting a lot more from their rental properties. According to our research*, students now expect more than one bathroom in their rental properties (25%) as well as 13% prioritising a large kitchen and large bathroom over living close to their friends.

While students may expect more and this may in turn increase the landlord’s upfront costs when getting the property ready for letting, landlords may also find that tenants are more likely to treat their student house like a home - and therefore less likely to cause damage to the property, fixtures or fittings.

What this does mean, however, is that landlords with student accommodation to rent will need to invest more in quality furniture and fittings at the start of the tenancy to attract the right tenants. Don’t scrimp with cheap furnishings, as you may ultimately end up spending more on replacements in the long run.

Find out more about preparing your property for student tenants, and download our checklist.

*Private student accommodation explore, Endsleigh and YouthSight report, November 2017

3. Students don’t mind living in grotty properties

‘Clean’ isn’t usually the word that springs to mind when most people think of students, however 42% of students* surveyed considered it important that their new housemates have similar levels of cleanliness to them. This shows that students today not only look for a comfortable property that they’ll enjoy living in, but they’re also keen for their property to stay clean as well.

It’s worth acknowledging that while student tenants may not demand the best of furnishings and decor, their parents most certainly will if they’re asked to be a guarantor for the rent. You may find that a dirty property struggles to find (and keep) quality student tenants.

*Private student accommodation explore, Endsleigh and YouthSight report, November 2017

4. Students don’t pay much in rent

While it's true to say that students would prefer to pay a low rent because of their limited budgets, it isn't true to assume that all students are like this.

The growing demand for quality accommodation means that students are willing to pay realistic market rates to enjoy these properties. Additionally, when a house is recognised as an HMO it means the property has usually undergone inspection to ensure it reaches a certain standard. This will draw in students looking for good-quality housing, and may also mean higher rents can be charged.

5. Student houses are too much trouble

While there are always going to be some badly behaved students, most have too much invested in their education to cause problems for their landlord or their neighbours. Additionally, most students sign up for a year-long tenancy agreement and have a guarantor attached, ensuring the consistent payment of rent – even when they’re not residing in the property during the summer months.

Now the myths have been uncovered, here is a total truth about renting to students:

RENTING TO STUDENTS IS A GOOD PROPOSITION

Essentially, the student accommodation sector is a buoyant one, and looks to expand with more and more students entering university each year in order to secure their future job prospects. An increase in international students coming to the UK to study has also increased the demand for high-quality student housing.

As Accommodation For Students owner Simon Thompson states: “There are many misconceptions about students and their demands for student accommodation; but in today's world, things have changed and their demands have dramatically changed because going to university is an expensive proposition. As such, landlords are now catering to a more discerning type of student tenant. Those who get their offering right will enjoy quality tenants who pay on time and are a delight to have in the property.”

Find out more about student landlord insurance.

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