With the number of university applicants expected to increase this year as more students choose to study rather than take a gap year in a post-COVID-19 world, now’s a great time to be (or consider becoming) a student landlord.
But while letting to students can be financially rewarding, there are also a number of pressures that come alongside student tenancies – especially if you’re renting out multiple properties at the same time! If you go weak in the knees just thinking about everything that needs to be organised before your student tenants move in, here are 5 ways you might be able to make life a little easier…
1. Encourage your tenants to be self-reliant
One of the key ways you can help yourself when managing multiple student tenancies is by encouraging your tenants to be self-sufficient. But they’ll only be able to do this if you equip them with the right tools and knowledge.
One way to encourage independence is to create an instruction manual for all your new student tenants that includes details on how to do some of the simpler / less dangerous tasks around the house – for example, you don’t want to be rushing out to the property every time a light bulb needs changing! It’s also worth including the instruction manuals for any appliances or white goods around the house, as this will prevent unnecessary phone calls.
If you’re pulling together a welcome pack, why not include a bottle of wine or a small box of chocolates as a housewarming gift? This could work wonders towards creating a great working relationship with your tenant, which could save you time and hassle in the long run.
2. Mitigate repair requests
Property maintenance is undoubtedly one of the most expensive and time-consuming things about being a landlord – particularly if you’re a student landlord where your tenants are likely to be less experienced when it comes to basic property maintenance and care.
Make sure your property is in a good state of repair before your tenants move in, as this could prevent high volumes of repair requests further down the line.
If you have multiple properties, live far away or you simply don’t fancy the idea of dealing with emergencies in the middle of the night, you may want to consider 24 hour home emergency insurance.
Home emergency is optional cover that can be added to your landlord buildings insurance policy to protect your property against the loss of essential services, and to make your student properties safe and secure following unexpected damage.
3. Don’t waste money on expensive furniture
To furnish or not to furnish - while it doesn’t seem that important, whether or not you furnish your property could have a big impact on a) the types of tenants you’re able to rent to, b) how much you can ask for in rent and c) how much property damage (and therefore, hassle) you might encounter at the end of the tenancy.
Our research showed that 74% of possessions claims* made in 2019 were for accidental damage, so it’s clear that students can be a clumsy bunch.
Therefore, if you do decide to furnish, it might be worth investing is slightly less expensive furniture to save yourself high replacement costs should there be any wear or damage at the end of student tenancy. It’s also a good idea to have a property inventory in place at the start of the tenancy that both you and your student tenants have signed and agreed to – this will save any potential deposit disputes further down the road.
*Based on Endsleigh possessions claims 2019
4. Save yourself some paperwork
If you already manage lots of student tenancies, you’ll already be aware of how much paperwork can be involved - from tenancy agreements to gas safety certificates to buildings insurance documents for each property, it can be easy to see how things might start to fall through the cracks.
That’s where Endsleigh’s landlord portfolio insurance comes in – rather than having separate policy documents and renewal dates for all of your rental properties, our portfolio policies allow you to cover all your properties under one roof, ultimately saving you hassle and a lot of paperwork! It’s also easy to adjust your policy, only paying for the time on cover should you need to add or remove properties throughout the year.
5. Don’t forget about a guarantor
When it comes to student tenancies, unless they’re a mature student or have a credit history you’re unlikely to be able to effectively reference them. In these situations, you may want to consider requesting a guarantor to co-sign the tenancy agreement – this means the guarantor will be responsible for paying the rent should the tenant be unable to pay.
After all, when you’re juggling multiple student tenancies the last thing you’ll want is additional paperwork from having to serve notice! Having a guarantor just adds that extra layer of security, and will give your tenants peace of mind as well.
Insurance solutions for student landlords
If you’re a student landlord, you might be surprised by how many options there are for your landlord insurance.
Let us make things simple for you.
• Got a single property that’s rented to students? Get a quote for 4* defaqto rated student landlord insurance that includes up to 120 days unoccupied property cover as standard. • Got multiple properties? Get a quote for landlord portfolio insurance that will help you cut down on your paperwork with just one renewal date for all of your properties each year – plus you could even save money with multi-property discounts!