Upad CEO, James Davis says: “Today’s students will be in debt up their eyeballs when they graduate, but they often have more ready cash than their counterparts twenty, even ten, years ago. And they are more discerning and savvy than ever before. From a landlord’s point of view, students represent a lucrative opportunity. But you’ll have to put the work in to bring your property up to a twenty-first century student standard.”
Here are some Upad tips for getting the most from student lets:
Get great students: Finding and letting your property to the best students is the way to make it work for you. That means starting early and interviewing your student tenants properly. Expect to meet several groups of students before deciding on which ones you like best. Students often like to get their digs sorted out before they depart for the summer. So for a September start, you might well have got your next tenants in place by May or June. Take time to meet the group and trust your instincts about them. Cheery, decent, communicative students are the most likely to be trouble-free.
Better properties attract better students: If you want the pick of the crop, make sure that your property stands out. Lots of student halls have en suites and the like these days so mouldy, damp properties in various shades of brown don’t cut the mustard any more. Don’t forget that a student house will likely be an HMO and must be properly accredited by your local authority.
The tenancy agreement: Make sure that you get all the names of the tenants on the agreement. You’ll also want guarantors, usually the students’ parents. It’s worth explaining carefully to your tenants what the various terms mean in more details than you might with other tenants.
Presume nothing: Recognise that these are young, excited people embarking upon something new. Be sure to make sure you’re clear on their responsibilities and what you reasonably expect. That means understanding that they have likely never rented before. Take the extra time to explain to them even the most obvious things about your property such as how the boiler works and when the rubbish is collected. Helpful notes about preventing condensation and looking after the property don’t go amiss either.
Security matters: Students these days have gadgets galore that burglars want to get their hands on. A student house is likely to contain multiple laptops mobile phones, iPods and the like, not to mention bikes. So make sure the property is secure. It’s a great selling point for students.
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