I am new to student letting?

by Readers Question

10:10 AM, 18th December 2017
About A year ago

I am new to student letting?

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I am new to student letting?

I own and rent several properties around Coventry and London and was thinking about starting to rent to students to increase occupancy and reduce taxes.

Now, I don’t have any prior experience with renting to students myself, so would like to hear from any members here who have experience in this field as I’ve heard different stories (both good and bad).

Many thanks
Steve



Comments

Andy Graham

12:52 PM, 18th December 2017
About A year ago

Hi Steve. I've been letting to students for approximately 8 years and as a co-founder of Smart Property, also oversee all of our lettings and purchases of student properties across a number of cities (although not Coventry or London I'm afraid). Like most things, there are pro's and cons. to this tenant group. I am a huge advocate for student letting because rentals are predictable and secure. We rent on single joins and severely liable tenancies, each tenant must also have a guarantor and the contract is for a fixed term of 51 or 52 weeks. Students typically sign up several months earlier too, so we're now 90% let until July 2019 which is a great position for a landlord to be in. Obviously the elevated rent opportunity is another plus, and on the whole, our students are lovely people who cause very little trouble. Some things to consider off the bat though: Students are picky, if a property is in the wrong area or street, they won't be interested. Standards of student accommodation have risen greatly so you must consider the competition even if your properties are in the right area. There may also be considerations for Article 4 and HMO licensing and if you have lending, so you should look into viability in the first instance. You will need the appropriate lending consent/product and compatible insurance.

Gromit

12:55 PM, 18th December 2017
About A year ago

I've been letting to students for 10 years now, and could write a short book on the do/don'ts.

Probably my best advice is have a more upmarket property (furnishings/decore) and keep it nice. (and charge a small premium). Students will look after it better (if its tatty, dirty, scratches then a bit more dirt or scratches won't matter will it?)

Start marketing early, properties are marketed from November of preceding academic year (I'm 80% reserved now for the next academic year). The best properties with th best students go first, don't be left with the dregs.

AA

12:59 PM, 18th December 2017
About A year ago

Very important which unit they attend. A huge correlation between intelligence and maturity. You do not want someone who attends a half way house masquerading as an education establishment. In the final analysis you want to minimise your risk. And for those that are about to huff and puff at my statement, it is not an absolute statement, it is a general principal I have learnt and worked with for about 15 years. On the occasion I have departed from that principal - it has cost me. And do your paperwork, references from not the last landlord but the previous to that one. The current landlord maybe looking to offload a tenant. Credit checks and Guarantors are vital. Finally collect copies of ID so that if you need to take them to court you have already in your hand information to trace someone.

Steven Niko

23:34 PM, 18th December 2017
About A year ago

Thanks a million everyone, I’ve certainly come to the right place to ask!
Definitely didn’t take long to convince me to make that step.

Meanwhile, I did some research and came across a multitude of options to better market my property portfolio across the student community and get ready for the upcoming semester. There’s quite a variety to my surprise, from specialist renting agents to standalone solutions.
One of them that caught my eye in particular is a student renting platform, who promise safe renting (including a guarantor check you mentioned) and good exposure so I am considering if this would be a good avenue to take. Will let you all know how it goes.

Steve

Gromit

9:53 AM, 19th December 2017
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Steven Niko at 18/12/2017 - 23:34
Good luck with your venture.

Rob Spencer

19:40 PM, 1st January 2018
About 12 months ago

Uni's can have their own student rental office you can register with that can significantly save on management fees. I haven't explored this avenue yet as I have a good agent, but if commissions & fees rise significantly it would become more attractive.

Rob Spencer

19:46 PM, 1st January 2018
About 12 months ago

Also for those new to the sector and needing lending be prepared for stricter criteria. In my experience typically a main lender will only consider open market residential income rather than student income which can halve the rental figure calculated for lending.


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