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Top of landlords’ wish lists for the type of tenants walking through the door is couples without children. Students are at the bottom of the list, according to a survey by Intus Lettings. About 29% of landlords say they prefer childless couples, while only 1% say students are their favourite type of tenant. Single young professionals are second on the list, with 25% of landlords liking this category, with families coming third, although only one in five landlords prefer this group. Landlords are also swayed by references when it comes to accepting tenants, according to the survey. Age and marital status are seen as the least important aspects of potential tenants.

Intus Lettings manager, Hope McKendrick, believes that couples without children are the top choice because they provide stability and reliability. As more people are living in rented accommodation, it is important to find the right tenant, as it saves time and money in the long term. The longer that tenants stay, the less void times there are, and costs involved with advertising or marketing for new tenants are kept to a minimum.

Whilst students are not top of the list, they can be an attractive proposition, particularly for those who have invested in properties in a university town. Whilst there are horror stories of wild student parties and properties being trashed, most student tenants are responsible and are relatively undemanding. If you are considering investing in student accommodation, then make sure the location is right. The property should be near to campuses and in an existing student area. Many students also like to live in large groups, so a house with four or five bedrooms is worth looking into. Properties of this size can often yield higher returns as well. Furnishings do not need to be first-class, but they do need to be sturdy and not to look cheap. Investing in fast wifi is also a major selling point to students. If the property is let to three or more tenants from different households who are sharing a kitchen or bathroom, you may need a HMO licence from the local authority.

The results of the survey have been released at the same time as figures from the latest English Housing Survey, showing that 4.5 million households are living in private rented accommodation, which is nearly double the number in 2000. Rising property prices is one reason for the increase, as more people are forced out of the housing market. Others also find they can rent a bigger property or live in a more desirable district than if they decided to buy.

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