The student housing market is booming, with more and more people opting to go to university each year. For any new or existing student landlords, this is great news.
We often hear horror stories about student accommodation, and thus people assume being a student landlord is an incredibly stressful job. However, this is often not the case. If you are organised, communicative and forthright, being a student landlord is often an easy and extremely lucrative venture.
If you set low standards as a student landlord however, it can be a stressful experience for both you and your tenants. Today, we are going to offer a broad range of tips for student landlords. These will apply to prospective landlords, as well as those looking to get the most out of their tenancies.
Put Time Aside for New Tenants
If your tenants are in their second year of university, this may be their first experience with a private landlord. Taking the time out to ensure they are settled, and chatting to them about your expectations can go a long way. In most cases, if you go the extra mile it will incentivize your tenants to do the same. If you are not communicative with your tenants and do not make them feel welcome and comfortable, you are inviting issues later down the line.
Make sure they feel comfortable coming to you regarding repairs, and do your best to see to any repairs quickly. It is always best that repairs are seen to by a professional. If your student house is based in Aylesbury or the surrounding regions, GK Plumbing can see to any heating or plumbing issues. The team at GK are highly qualified, and offer competitive pricing for their work.
We encourage you to gently remind your tenants about their obligations at the start, and make sure they know you will provide 24 hours notice before accessing the property. This will all, usually, be outlined in the tenancy agreement. If you establish a good relationship with your tenants early on, it will make the entire process much easier.
This will be more applicable to any individual who is thinking about entering the student housing market as a landlord. Like anything, if you want to yield the best results from your investment you need to conduct research beforehand.
Examine the market as well as the local area, and make sure you are competing with rental prices and offering good value for money. People will recognise this, and you are far more likely to successfully rent out your property. Sites like Rightmove and Zoopla will help you assess other properties in the area. You can, however, always speak to local landlords to gain an insight into the market as well as advice.
Complete Thorough Inventory Checks
Inventory checks are an important part of the tenancy process, and should be completed at the start and end of the tenancy. We encourage you to do a thorough check of the property prior to your tenants arrival, and take photos of everything. You can give your tenants time to digest any inventory lists, but ensure it is signed and agreed by all tenants.
If you are organised and thorough, you cover yourself if there are any problems during or at the end of the tenancy. If you have photographs of the property as well as tenant signatures, they cannot avoid responsibility for any damage. In conjunction with the tenancy agreement, an inventory list will let everyone know exactly where they stand.
It may be a good idea to complete inspections midway through the tenancy also. This will help you identify any areas of concern.
Improve Your Property’s Efficiency
A property that is more efficient is going to be far more attractive in the student market. Students who are strapped for cash are always looking for ways to cut costs, and an efficient property will result in lower bills.
A few things you can consider to make your property more efficient include: double glazing, ensuring you have an efficient and serviced boiler, use LED bulbs and insulate the loft properly. Greener properties are extremely popular at the minute, as society moves towards sustainability. Aligning yourself with this shift will help you stand out in a competitive market.
Meet Your Safety Obligations
You are legally required to provide a safe and habitable space for your tenants. There is a duty of care undertaken by landlords, and tenants are often paying landlords a substantial amount of money. For this, they deserve to live in a well maintained and safe property.
If you are a student landlord, there are a number of routine safety checks that must be carried out. Some of these need to be done regularly, whilst others can be completed every few years. Some of the most important checks are as follows:
All gas fixtures should be installed and maintained by a Gas Safe engineer. Every year, you must also ensure that you have a gas safety test completed. Tenants should be given a copy of the certificate, and this should be done before any tenants move in.
You need to ensure that your property’s alarms are working and serviced. Smoke alarms are required in all living spaces, as well as hallways and landings. We also encourage you to invest in Carbon Dioxide detectors, as a leak can have potentially fatal results.
Although electrical safety tests are not required as frequently as gas safety checks, you still must be proactive. To be safe, it is best to carry out PAT testing on appliances every 12 months. Moreover, you should have your property’s electrical systems inspected by an accredited electrician at least every 5 years.
This is not a definitive list of checks that you must complete, and there are many more. To keep your tenants safe and happy, we encourage you to do some research online. Ensure you are proactive with any safety checks and they are completed on time.