8 Advantages of Renting to Students

8 Advantages of Renting to Students

June 16, 2016

As a landlord, you’re able to pick and choose who your tenants will be. If you’re looking for long-term tenants you might decide to market towards families, or you may prioritise single professionals for their reliability and experience, but one group that’s often written off is the student market. Many landlords think of students as unruly, loud and messy, but there are actually many advantages to letting to them; here are our top reasons for renting out your property to students!

You’ll know when to advertise

Almost all student tenancies begin at the start of the university year, either with a renewal of their current property or a new tenancy. This allows you to reliably gauge when you’ll need to think about refurbishing the property and re-marketing it, so you can market your property much more effectively, and you won’t need to worry about your current tenants suddenly giving notice!

There’s a big market

In any university city there will be thousands of students, and in a city like Leeds where there are four universities the potential market for your property is enormous! A high demand for property also ensures that your property will fetch a good price, and you’ll never need to worry about finding tenants.

Students are year-long tenants

Students need somewhere to live for the whole of the university year, so tenancies usually last a full 12 months. Knowing that your property will be full for an entire year guarantees your income and takes the stress off having to find new tenants, and if your current tenants do decide to leave it’ll be at the same time as thousands of new students are looking for somewhere to rent!

Talk to your tenants in advance of the tenancy end date to find out if they’re planning to stay on; you’ll need to know at least a month in advance to properly set your property up to be re-let.

They’re not too fussy

Students aren’t too concerned about whether their kitchen catches the sun, or whether the curtains are the right shade of blue; they’re happy to have somewhere to call their own and are less likely to be bothered about the age or quality of furnishings than a family would be. This isn’t to say that they don’t have standards, and you’re certainly not allowed to skimp on any essential maintenance, but you won’t have to buy top-of-the-range furnishings for every room to attract tenants.

You can rent room-by-room

As students will often come and go during the year, they’re much more likely to accept individual tenancy agreements. This helps your tenants out if one of them decides to leave, as they won’t all have to cover the missing rent, and they can more easily attract a new housemate. You’ll also be able to charge more for the property as a collection of separate rooms than for a whole building!

New tenants haven’t developed bad habits

A student’s first year at university is typically their wildest; once they’re out of halls, they’ve got used to living on their own and have (usually) settled down a bit. They’re also new to private renting, and so haven’t developed a lot of the bad habits that some long-term renters do (such as exploiting a landlord’s goodwill or patience). Letting your house to a group of first-time renters may seem like a recipe for chaos, but often the second-year students you’ll be renting to are tired of living in the madness of halls and want somewhere cleaner, quieter and more home-like to live in.

They’re financially stable

Though a student may not have the income of a professional couple or family, they do have a regular student loan, and if this is properly budgeted it should be enough to ensure that you’re always paid on time. If not, their guarantors will be obliged to cover any costs they incur, so whatever happens you won’t find yourself left with missing rent!

You’re covered against most risks

As long as you’ve fulfilled your legal obligations to ensure the property is safe to rent, most expenses that your tenants incur won’t affect you or will be recoverable. Damage to fixtures and fittings can be reclaimed from your tenant’s deposits, and overdue utilities bills should be their responsibility, so though it may be a hassle to deal with it’s rare that you’ll find yourself out of pocket.

That’s not to say that this is an ideal state of affairs, but most of the problems that students run into shouldn’t affect you too much as the landlord. It may be a good idea to pass your phone number on to the neighbours so that if there are any problems with late-night noise you can be contacted; though it may be disruptive to you, you’ll be able to keep the goodwill of your neighbours!