It has been reported in the property news this week that Assetz, a property investment advice firm, has warned that this year is not one for taking punts when investing in certain areas. They have warned that the difficult state of the Eurozone could negatively hit prices here in the UK, even though buy-to-let is likely to continue growing this year.
Popular Areas and Bargains
Popular residential areas where employment is at a good level and where there is a strong infrastructure are of course going to lead to strong tenant demand, and it is inevitable that demand is likely to continue outstripping supply in such areas.
However, that doesn’t mean a bargain that will ultimately make you money cannot be found in areas of high unemployment. If you research hard enough you may find that certain areas of the country may have a high unemployment level, but such areas may also have a university nearby and therefore a strong student population. And of course, students need accommodation!
Letting to students, in any part of the country, could indeed prove a winning situation for any property investor. Letting to students can be very tricky business however. Student properties often suffer from damages. Many students like to have parties involving alcohol which can in turn lead to damages being sustained. A good way to protect yourself is, of course, with landlord insurance. If accidental damage is incurred, a decent insurance policy will protect you against the cost of repairs.
Furthermore, students often live off their student loan which comes in once a term on a specific date. This all means that cash and rent payments can sometimes be a bit of an issue for students so it will be worth keeping in mind that rent payments may be a little late sometimes.
Also, whilst rent is normally charged on a monthly rate, when letting to students it may be an idea to think about charging rent every quarter, and perhaps it will be a good idea to advertise the level of rent as a weekly amount; for example, £80 a week including bills that is then paid quarterly. This means students can pay you once their loan is in every quarter, as chasing rent every month will become a bit of a hassle for both you, and the student.
There are of course, a lot of positives about student letting, such as, a continuous supply of students and therefore a continuous supply of tenants, provided your property remains attractive and affordable.
Student property can be a pleasure to invest in as it can be very profitable. Students will also normally be relatively easy to work with and provided you have a good working relationship with your tenants, it should be a stress free process.