What do students look for in a rental property?
There’s a stereotypical image people have of 'dossing' students. Happily living in condemned student houses as portrayed in sit-coms like The Young Ones. But it is just a stereotype. In reality students are as discerning as any other tenant. I'm sure all private landlords realise this. But what do students really look for in a rental?.
If you're considering renting to students these are the things which are likely to be on their checklist.
Understandably the first thing a student will consider is location. The vast majority won't have transport. And those who do won't want to spend their loans on fuel. Ideally your rental will be in walking distance of the university. If it's further away great public transport links are essential.
If you're looking for a new student rental to add to your portfolio location should be the first thing you consider. Because you can be sure that's what your potential tenants will be looking at.
It may surprise some landlords but many students put a private bathroom at the top of their wish list. Rooms with an en-suite are very popular and students will be willing to pay a premium for these facilities. Don't forget many students moving into private accommodation will have spent their first year in halls of residence. It’s very likely they had their own bathroom then and they will want the same facilities in a private rental.
Broadband>p>This is non-negotiable. Students need strong and reliable broadband. Access to the web and email is essential for every university course. Research, some teaching and submitting work all takes place online. And no student will want to rely on the Wi-Fi at the university. They need to be able to get online at 3am when they've just finished a last-minute essay. Include broadband as standard with your rent.
Students don't want to be dragging toasters and fridges all over the country so make sure the kitchen has all the necessary white goods. Most students will consider a microwave essential. But make sure there’s a nice cooker too. Needless to say, all electrical and gas appliances must be in good condition and safe to use. Consider electrical safety certificates for all your appliances and make sure you have an annual gas safety check completed too.
A student will need lots of storage space in their room. A small hotel style desk would be very welcome and don't forget there should be plenty of sockets. A typical student will have a small arsenal of electrical gadgets. At the very least they’ll need to plug in their laptop, phone and printer.
Taking a bit of care over the layout and the furniture in a room can make a big difference when it comes to attracting student tenants.
The communal area
A nicely laid out communal area will be a big draw. Especially when a group of friends are moving into your HMO. A TV, some seating and a table is all you need. Large screen TVs are so cheap nowadays it makes sense to make your property more attractive by including one in the communal area. A decent sofa and a table capable of holding a couple of pizza boxes will complete the ideal room for socialising.
Students are becoming more aware of the need for security. Popular student areas in university towns can be targets for burglaries and opportunistic thieves. An alarm system, CCTV and extra locks will make your property more attractive to students worried about the security of their possessions.
Don't forget safety either. HMO accommodation has a raft of regulations which you'll be aware of but do make sure the fire alarms are working. You must also provide fire extinguishers and blankets. And don't forget to clearly mark those emergency exits.
Condition of property
Mr. Rigsby wouldn't last long as a landlord with today's students. Students are more discerning and they want a clean well-decorated property to move into. It may not stay that way for too long of course.
But the modern student tenant will not overlook rising damp and old floor coverings. To appeal to the maximum number of tenants your property must be clean and presentable. Remember your tenants will probably have to convince their parents it’s a suitable place for them to live.
Last but certainly not least. Students are probably more price motivated than other tenant groups. You do need to make sure you pitch your rent just right. But it has to be right for you as well as your tenant.
Having said students are price motivated it doesn't mean they will automatically go for the cheapest option. They want value but they also want the things we've mentioned above. Well-appointed accommodation at a competitive rent will attract all the student tenants you need to quickly rent out your property.
Private landlords can find tenants fast by listing their property with MakeUrMove the original online letting agency.