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Student landlords who fail to properly invest in technology may well be losing out on significant income, according to a new study commissioned by Currys PC World Business.
The findings reveal that technology can make all the difference when it comes to renting, with nearly half of students (44 per cent) willing to pay more for fibre optic or high-speed internet.
Wi-Fi is fast becoming a hygiene factor for students, along with kitchen appliances such as freezers or washing machines, with over half (55 per cent) expecting to see it in the property. Moreover, more than a third (35 per cent) would not rent a property that didn’t have an internet connection.
This demand for improved technology also extended to the kitchen, with the research finding that most students now expect to see everything from kettles, toasters and microwaves included in their rent. In fact, if they were missing, they could seriously harm your chances of renting a property, with over one in three (36 per cent) of students saying a lack of microwave would be a big turn-off. At the same time, 16 per cent felt a lack of kettle could scupper any deal while 14 per cent saw a lack of toaster as a bad sign.
Overall, 60 per cent of students felt that electricals and kitchen appliances played a big part in their renting decision.
It seems that with the rise in tuition fees, and increasing rental prices, student expectations have risen: nearly a third of students (29 per cent) labelled themselves as high maintenance, expecting an elevated level of service from their property.
Indeed, 85 per cent of students admitted they were more likely to rent a property if all appliances were new, emphasising the importance of investing in the right technology. This was closely linked to the fact that 59 per cent felt they would be unable to afford the costs in furnishing their own property.
The Cost of Happy Tenants
The table below compares the average annual rental income a landlord can expect from a three or four-bedroom student property against the cost of buying the top five items students require new at Currys PC World:
Similarly, keeping things continually up to date is also important, with 86% of students claiming they would change property at the end of their tenancy due to electricals being broken and left unfixed.
Simon Moyle, Head of Business Solutions at Currys PC World Business, comments:
“With well over half a million students in the UK this is a market that represents a huge opportunity for landlords, and one where the right investment can make all the difference. What’s more, research from mortgage lender Paragon found that student properties typically enjoy a yield premium of around 27 per cent over the market average – demonstrating that it can be a hugely profitable area of investment.
“Crucially, landlords must move with the times; while students may have previously headed off to university with nothing more than clothes and books, technology has become a central part of the student experience, and something that landlords must deliver on if they want to make top dollar in the market.”
Currys PC World Business is an official supplier of the Landlord National Purchasing Group, a landlord buying group that is committed to offering its membership the best products at the most competitive prices. Nick Watchorn, Founder, Landlord National Purchasing Group, said:
“We’ve seen a significant shift in demands over the last few years from student landlords. Where it was previously just beds and bookcases, they’re now buying large volumes of high quality white goods, electricals, and furniture, as students increasingly expect more for their money. Landlords must adapt to these changing needs in order to avoid being left behind in this increasingly competitive sector.”
The research was commissioned by Currys PC World Business as it launches its latest ‘Landlord Solutions’ guide containing hints, tips and advice to private landlords about how to better look after tenants, and what to bear in mind when renting a property. The guide is available here.
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