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Landlords urged to homework on student tenants

Typically the student market can be a lucrative business for landlords with yields considerably higher when compared to the rest of the residential investment market.
With this in mind it is often tempting for landlords to accept the first students that express an interest in a property to ensure full occupancy levels throughout the academic year. But Landlord Assist is reminding landlords to treat students as they would any other tenant and undertake full referencing checks first.
Graham Kinnear, Managing Director of Landlord Assist says: “Many students are great tenants and a good number are not. The key is to ensure that they are properly referenced and have solid guarantors to ensure that the landlord’s position is protected.
“Most students have little or no income and are therefore not able to guarantee the obligations of the tenancy that they sign. Subsequently, most reference checks require students to have a sound guarantor who has the financial credentials and a responsible attitude to ensure that the landlord gets the property back in the right condition and that the rent is paid on time every month.”
With demand in the buy-to-let market continuing to outstrip supply, competition is expected to be strong for the best properties this year.
But with some landlords eager to ensure full occupancy levels for the academic year, Landlord Assist is worried that many will decide to forgo the security of a guarantor agreement for fear that it will slow down the tenancy process.
Stephen Parry, Commercial Director at Landlord Assist says: “Although many landlords may be starting to feel the pressure because the new term is only a few weeks away and they have yet to secure a tenant, it is essential to consider the tenant’s position.
“They are a few weeks away from a new academic year at a college or university which is unlikely to be in their home town and they need to secure accommodation as quickly as possible. The request for a guarantor in such circumstances is unlikely to be a deal breaker but will certainly help to ensure a smoother tenancy and prevent disputes.”

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