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Investing in Another Property

Over the last few years, student housing has become very popular amongst landlords and has transformed over the last ten years into a global market. This is a result of the increase in students in need of somewhere to live; there has been an increase of 67 million students since 2000 to 2011.

James Pullan is the head of Knight Frank Student Accommodation and he has said, “Student property is one of the most successful real estate asset classes, thanks to stability of demand for student bedrooms from all over the UK. The market is still structurally undersupplied in all core university cities.” Continue reading

A guide to summer for Student Landlords

StudentsSummer is usually the slow season for student landlords, as of the end of May most students will have finished their academic year and will be heading home. However, just because there are fewer students about in the summer doesn’t mean you should just leave your properties to sit there! So here is our guide to summer for student landlords: Continue reading

Being an HMO Landlord

multiple keys on chainHMOs, or Houses in Multiple Occupation, are seen by some as being an easy way to make money in the lettings business. It is true that the profits made on HMOs tend to be higher than the profits made on other types of property. The average rental yield on HMOs is around 11%, compared to an average of around 6-7% for standard lettings. That doesn’t mean, however, that HMO letting is easy.

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Letting to Students: the Lowdown

students working on computersStudent tenants are often targeted by landlords, despite their reputation for being noisy and leaving properties in a poor state once they move out. But that stereotype is far from always fair, and students lettings often bring higher yields than other lettings. Letting to students can sometimes be harder work than letting to professionals or families. So is it worth it?

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Advice Given for Property Investment

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!

Student 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.

Student Rates

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.

Letting to Young People

The number of first time buyers who are struggling to get a mortgage and save a deposit to get onto the property ladder is increasing, so it’s no surprise that a large proportion of the rental property market is under the age of 35.

It would be helpful to think about how you could market your property to this age group and what types of people might be renting your property.

Young Professionals

A lot of under 35s are young professionals, maybe graduates or school leavers looking to move away from home. Many young professionals will look for a property that’s convenient to transport, as they’ll have to commute to their work. Because they are usually always on the go, many would really appreciate facilities in the property like washing machines, dryers and dishwashers. It’s always important to screen your tenants and conduct proper credit checks, though it’s unlikely that you will encounter difficulty with any tenant.

Students

Having a property near to a good college or university will be sure to bring you income. Most students are laid back when it comes to any problems to their property, however, students are known for occasionally causing breakages to property, so to minimise the impact of these accidents, you should take out landlords insurance.

Letting to the under 35s might be where the bulk of your rental income will come from, so you should be well kitted out to provide a property that is functional for young people.

If you are considering letting to younger people, marketing online can be a good tool for attracting them and it’s worth taking time to research the marketing potential of sites online.

Rush for university lets imminent

With A-level results out later this week, landlords in many of the UK’s provincial towns and cities as well as the capital will be anticipating a new influx of tenants.

It is expected once again that the pass rate for A-levels will supersede anything previously seen and with it a rush for university places. It may well also precipitate a rush in quotes for cheap landlord insurance. Although it is most certainly wrong to tar everyone with the same brush, it would be a foolhardy landlord who did not secure landlord insurance for properties housing students.

Very often the teenagers are away from home for the first time and are embarking on a steep learning curve not only in education, but also in the art of caring for oneself and their belongings. They will encounter problems that have always been sorted by their parents and will be doing household chores and using household implements that simply were not in their domain before.

Accidents will happen and with it damage to properties. A tap left running can not only cause flood damage to the room in question, but there is the added danger of the water finding its way downstairs causing damage to the room below, which may well be used by another student in the same house. It is a common site in student halls of residence to see the fire brigade on call. Usually because a smoke alarm has been activated by an unsuspecting student not yet versed in the art of cooking or the geography of their new flat.

It will pay a landlord great dividends to welcome and support his new tenants in whatever way he can. Time spent with the students in the first few weeks of their tenancy can go a long way to building up a good relationship with customers, who could well be renting the property for at least 3 years. Take time to explain the kitchen, the heating system and the plumbing. Any good landlord will have ensured all safety requirements are met anyway, but go to great lengths to explain fire rules and how electrical appliances work. It will also help to meet parents, they will take comfort in the knowledge that their fledglings are in the hands of a good landlord and remember there is often a younger sibling who will be looking for rooms a couple of years hence.