The new academic year is fast approaching, and if you’re considering offering your buy-to-let keys to a group of students, not only is it the right time but you may be onto something good! Renting out your accommodation to students can bring high returns, especially if your property is located in a sought after university town with the best yields.
However, before you start letting your property youtube there are some things to consider first when it comes to student lettings that you wouldn’t have to think about with a usual buy-to-let. So, here are some important things to keep in mind before you hand over those keys.
Reasons to let your property out to students:
- High and consistent demand in areas with large volume of students (campus towns/ city centres etc)
- Students usually rent for at least a year
- Student lets often offer high yields.
One important thing to bear in mind is that as opposed to classic rentals, student properties tend to suffer more wear and tear than other rentals. With this in mind, you might be likely to spend more money on maintenance costs. Another thing to remember is that students expect the property to have basic furnishing so keep this in mind when handling your budgeting.
What you need to sort before letting out your property…
Tenancy agreement – You and your tenants should sign a tenancy agreement that sets out all the terms and conditions of the rental. The most common form is a joint tenancy agreement, which means all the students in the house sign the same agreement, and are all responsible for the costs. This means that if one of your students fails to pay their rent, the other tenants can be held liable too. In a similar way, if one tenant leaves before the tenancy is up, is the responsibility of the remaining students to find a replacement. Make sure your tenants are all aware of this before they move in.
HMOs – This stands for (houses in multiple occupation) which most student houses are. It means a property occupied by at least three people who are not originally from the same household. If your property is at least three storeys high and you rent to over five people who aren’t from the same household but share facilities (e.g kitchen/bathroom) then it counts as a ‘large HMO’ and you therefore need a licence from your local council. In order to get your HMO licence, your property will need to meet certain standards .
How do I market my property to students?
Student lets are normally marketed in the same way as a traditional let. Your letting agent will usually list the property online on classic sites like Rightmove and Zoopla. However you can also market it privately on local classifieds sites such as Friday-Ad. Universities also release approved rentals, and you should make sure you get yours on that list. A good local letting agent like Your Move will have a relationship with universities.
Which sort of property is suitable for students?
A property with at least 3 bedrooms with plenty of communal space (lounge and kitchen) will be appealing for a house of students. More than one toilet or bathroom will make it more marketable, as well as having a garden. Most importantly choosing a location that’s easily accessible from the university campus.
Looking to advertise your property?