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Student Tenants: The Good, the Bad and the Noisy

There is no denying that being a student landlord has some increased risks. With almost any tenant there is the possibility of a party going awry or receiving multiple complaints from neighbours. This however, is not normally the case for your run of the mill tenants such as young families and professionals. With students on the other hand, you don’t expect any different.

For many students renting a house while at university is their first time living in a house without their parent’s restrictions and with a drinking buddy one bedroom away. So house parties complete with alcohol, loud music and raucous behaviour tends to be a weekly tradition. With this comes the concern of many landlords that the property they invested in will be destroyed. Typical horror stories include broken windows and furniture, wine stains on the carpet, blocked toilets and in a worst case scenario, police arriving to investigate acts of violence.

So what’s the Appeal?

The student market is one of the more consistent groups of property seekers. There is some reassurance that every year you can pretty much guarantee a wave of prospective tenants eager to sign a contract and begin an exciting chapter in their lives. Despite the drop in young people applying for university due to the rise in tuition fees, a large amount still attend each year. Depending on your location too, there are opportunities to charge premium prices, within reason.

How to Prevent Student Damage

Primarily it’s important to do research into the property, the local area and your tenants.

If your property is relatively in good condition it is less likely that a maintenance problem will occur. You cannot always trust that students will inform you of them straight away which can result in expensive repairs.

Most student houses are ideally located near the main campus; however these densely populated areas become major targets of theft for locals. So it is important to learn about your property’s surrounding area, its’ security and those who inhabit it.

A range of students will view your property so it’s worth asking them questions, or having your letting agent do the same, in order to gauge their character. Find out whether they are likely to host numerous parties, what year of study they are in (final year students tend to be more focused on their studies), if they have references from previous landlords etc.

Finally, take out some good landlord insurance and take a detailed inventory of the property in the unfortunate case of damage occurring.

Not Everyone Is the Same

Student tenants get a bad reputation but there are many who can abide by their contract and look after the property well. In a similar way, tenants can come across rogue landlords but that doesn’t mean you can’t be trusted either.

A growing number of students are keen to squash this misconception that they all behave in a poor manner.

We All Love a Good Party

We all love a good party, right? A great chance to meet new people and have a laugh and a catch up with those you already…unless you’re the landlord of the property at which the party is being held.

Damages from parties can be quite severe at times and it will be important to ensure that such damages do not befall your property.

Tenants That Love a Party

It may be quite an obvious point but students love a good house party. We’ve all been there in our student days, where everyone crams into a single room to have a drink and a dance which instantly puts a property at risk. Even simple things like alcohol spilling onto carpets and rugs can cause damage that will cost a substantial amount to repair.

Furthermore, it’s not just students that can cause damage, even mature adults can get a bit over zealous at parties as a result of a little too much to drink.

Anyhow, people will always want to have house parties, and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t, but what should you look out for as a landlord?

Damages

Now of course we always hear horror stories about broken windows, broken doors and even structural damage, and whilst breaks are not uncommon, it’s slightly simpler problems that are certain to occur. Such as, red wine being spilt on carpets (we all know about the white wine trick but red wine can be trouble to clean!) and cigarette ash falling onto carpets too.

Small accidents do of course happen, and the worry should only come when it seems that tenants are being disrespectful to both you and your property. In this case then it may be worth claiming on a landlord insurance policy in order to cover the costs.

Sometimes you may also find that neighbours begin to complain with regard to antisocial behaviour, which is never good. This would only be likely if your tenants had a lot of house parties in a short space of time. This is a rare situation however, and with a careful screening process, you should be able to see which tenants would be most likely to cause such disruption.