2nd June 2018
Q: I’m often told that I should rent my house to students. Is it worth the hassle?
A: If ever you have a property that has three or more bedrooms, then there is a good chance that you are missing out on rental income if you only have just one tenancy in place.
As I have mentioned in previous articles, it is sometimes better to rent your investment out room by room than as one large unit. In general, letting out a property to students can be a lucrative business but only IF you own the right property, in the right location.
Letting out a larger property to students has long been a great way to turn a larger house into a good income. However, during the summer months when many of these student properties are empty, you could face costly voids.
Also, student tenants may go back home for a few weeks leaving the property empty and therefore posing a security risk. Criminals will be aware of which properties are vacant and crime statistics for domestic break-ins are far higher from July to September in these areas.
Students tend leave expensive equipment like TVs, computers and personal possessions in the property for long periods, and if a break in occurs not only do laptops, stereos and other equipment go missing, but anything of value belonging to the landlord is at risk too.
If a property is vacant for long periods, it will usually be necessary for a weekly inspection to comply with the terms of your landlord’s insurance policy – but best to double check this.
Tips to help your tenants protect the property during the summer:
- Ensure the property has a burglar alarm system and that all windows and doors have safety locks.
- Ensure that the property has working smoke alarms, fire alarms, extinguishers and fire blankets.
- Electrical appliances and plug sockets should all be switched off and unplugged from the wall.
- Switch off the water from the mains, and look out for damp patches or possible leaks.
- Another big problem in student houses are common pests including mice, slugs, fruit flies, pigeons and sometimes even rats. Some students are messy and leave food lying about for days. Check your property for droppings and slug trails.
Although there are some issues you need to take into consideration, the student market is definitely a profitable one. We are more than happy to assist with the set-up, arranging licenses, marketing and management of any student property, so please contact me for a chat.