What are students looking for in a rented property?

What are students looking for in a rented property?

August 25, 2016

What are students looking for in a rented property?

Students create a huge market for rental property, and this is especially true in cities like Leeds with such a large student population. Knowing how to market your property to students is vital to attracting tenants year after year, and what makes your property attractive to them might not be quite so obvious to adults whose student days are long behind them:

The price has to be right: It’s a fairly straightforward point, but you’ve got to keep your prices down to attract students; a student loan only goes so far, and forking out most of their loan in rent will put off most students. Keep an eye on the competition to see how they’re pricing their properties, and set your rates accordingly.

Flexibility is an asset: Though students will typically live in rented accommodation for a year at a time, there are circumstances where they may need to alter or terminate their tenancy. A landlord who’s able to respond to their tenants needs will find it easier to keep their property fully occupied; for example, if you have a large property, consider letting out each room on its own contract. This avoids the collective responsibility of a single tenancy agreement for the whole house, and allows tenants to move in and out more easily.

Summer tenancy breaks: It’s a galling thought, but most students don’t need accommodation over summer. For landlords who are used to year-long occupation, the thought of losing two months’ rent is a tough pill to swallow – however, it does give you a chance to carry out repairs, and if it’s what your competition’s offering it’ll be tough to attract tenants without doing the same.

Close to amenities: Students need to have easy access to shops and pubs, and if you’re not providing clothes washing facilities they must be able to reach a launderette on foot. Make sure to mention your property’s proximity to these facilities in your property listing, as students will be looking out for somewhere that’s convenient for them.

Safety: Your tenants should feel safe, and though students are willing to live in cheaper areas than some tenants they will certainly expect to feel safe in the neighbourhood; though you can’t clean up the area yourself, it’s worth investing in security measures like alarms, latches and door lights to help your students feel comfortable in your property.

A little convenience goes a long way: Professionals and families are used to paying their own way, handling all their bills and maintenance requirements. Students who are fresh from university halls might not be quite so experienced with running a household, so offering to include vital services like electricity or internet can go a long way towards making your property appealing to students.

Good transport links: Unlike older tenants, students are unlikely to have their own private transport, and as such are much more reliant on public transport to get around. Property that’s handy for the bus can make it much easier for students to get around and highlighting this fact to your tenants is worthwhile.

Good security measures: You certainly don’t have to go all-out on burglar alarms and bolts, but students tend to own a fair amount of consumer tech like phones, tablets, TVs and games consoles, and they’re likely to have one each rather than share a single one. Therefore, student properties present a potential treasure trove for burglars, and your tenants will want to know that their belongings are safe in their home. Providing locking windows and latched doors is a good step to take; not only does it improve the safety of your home, but your tenants will find it easier and cheaper to obtain contents insurance (a fact that you can remind potential tenants of).

Furnishings should be tough, not fancy: Students are rarely all that bothered about the quality of the furnishings, and expensive upholstery and goods are likely to be a minor turn-off; accidentally dropping a pizza onto a second-hand £100 sofa is a lot less worrying than dropping it onto a brand-new £1,000 corner unit, and knowing that minor accidents won’t cost them loads in repairs is reassuring for tenants.

Good property maintenance: Your tenants should be able to rely on you to keep their property maintained, and you can give them confidence in this by making sure the property is kept in good shape when conducting viewings. Be sure to mention that you’re quick to handle repairs and provide both a telephone and email contact number; many millennials prefer to communicate through email rather than over the phone.