If you’re a landlord considering moving from traditional letting to student accommodation management, there are some important differences to consider. This landlord guide to student letting will walk you through the essentials so you know what to expect from student housing.
First off, it’s worth thinking about what you will gain from investing in student housing. Most landlords are attracted to these properties as the demand for them is very consistent. On top of this, the yields for student housing are typically high, with the bonus of being able to charge rent per room. As students tend to stay put for at least 12 months, you’ll get a stable year-long lease during their time at university.
However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for student letting. With the good, you must take the bad and that normally takes the shape of higher maintenance costs. Student accommodation can be subject to greater deterioration throughout the contract. You may also have to deal with more noise complaints. Beyond behaviour, you will have issues with getting credit references as the tenants will come from family homes. Instead, you will need to seek references from guarantors.
With all of that considered, if the idea of managing student accommodation still appeals to you it’s worth following these tips.
Most students will consider broadband to be a necessity for any property. They will need a reliable connection to the internet to complete their studies. Plenty of students will also use broadband recreationally during their stay.
A lot of broadband providers will offer exclusive deals specifically for student accommodation. Make the most of them, have your Wi-Fi details displayed well in the properties and be sure to mention your broadband within advertisements.
With shared student accommodation, having plenty of storage space can be attractive to prospective tenants. You will need to factor in that each tenant will want their kitchen cupboard for food storage. A failure to supply this could result in arguments amongst the house as they fight over space.
Students will also expect properties to be fully furnished by the time that they arrive. You will need to account for the following:
• Desks and chairs
• Curtains, carpets and lampshades
• Vacuum cleaner
• Fridge freezers
Choosing to furnish your property in advance holds some advantages. It will save them the fuss of chasing down these items themselves, allowing for a quicker move-in process. From a landlord perspective, it will allow you to raise renting costs justifiably. Overall this can be a win-win on both sides. Just remember to log an accurate inventory of the furnishings so you can review them at the end of the contract.
Similarly, to providing storage space, student tenants will also be more tempted to sign if you give them enough communal space. The university lifestyle is very sociable as they learn to live independently and meet their classmates. Supplying them with adequate communal space could make the difference between a new contract and missed opportunity.
When it comes to advertising to young demographics such a student, it goes without saying that online advertising is the way to go. The best way to reach out to perspectives is to have a prominent digital presence, whether you’re a large letting agency or a solo landlord.
You may want to consider investing in a website. If you’re looking after a big property portfolio or are continually growing it, having the option to easily update your site may work in your favour. With full control over the content, you can also show your flair as a brand.
If you cannot afford to have a website made, a good alternative is a social media page. Students spend a lot of time on the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. All these platforms come with a free profile when you sign up. You can choose to pay for further advertising, but this is not compulsory is you have a small budget.
Lastly, you can have your advertisements placed on real estate portals. Consider Rightmove, Zoopla or Gumtree.
When you choose to advertise your student, accommodation is very much up to you. Typically, students start looking for properties anywhere between January to August, with a move-in deadline of September.
How can Decorus for Sage help?
Whether you’re managing a single student property or a block, Decorus for Sage can support you in property management. Looking specifically at student accommodation property management, Decorus can help you in the following ways:
• In-built marketing suite – advertise more effectively to prospects
• Credit control – let the system handle missed payments for you
• Inventory logs – never lose track of your furnishings
• Simple, all-in-one layout – save time with all the information you need in one place
Intrigued? Get a free demo of Decorus for Sage.