The pros’ and cons’ that you should be weighing up
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.