Student accommodation in the UK continues to be a lucrative investment for buy to let landlords, as impressively high double-digit yields remain available in many regions of the country.
As university students head back to continue their studies over the coming weeks, demand for housing remains high, thanks to an increase in the number of international students choosing to study in the United Kingdom. There has also been a rise in the number of UK nationals who are signing up for further and higher education. Therefore, it is unsurprising that the number of investments in student property is currently rising, and is up 17 per cent, according to estate agent, Savills.
However, being a landlord is far from easy, and many issues arise frequently in student accommodation. Although university tenants are given a reputation for late night drinking and house parties, the stereotype is outdated. With the rising cost of student debts and loans, students have become more money conscious than their predecessors, and are keen to ensure their tenancy deposit is returned to them in full at the end of the agreement.
However, as with letting property to any tenant, wear and tear is inevitable, especially for large properties in multiple occupation. Issues with the exterior and structure of the home are the landlord’s responsibility to maintain, and any damage to sanitary wear such as baths, sinks and toilets, as well as walls and flooring, must be repaired.
It is vital to conduct an inventory of the home before the tenants start their occupancy, and this can be easily taken using a letting inventory app. This is in order for you to differentiate between wear and tear and repairs which will naturally take place during a tenancy, and issues which have been caused by the neglect of the tenant. Photos of the property can prove extremely beneficial in cases of dispute with tenants.
You are responsible, as a landlord, for ensuring that all electric and gas appliances in the property are safe, with a gas safety check conducted annually. As a landlord, it is your duty to make sure that smoke alarms are installed on each level of the property, with carbon monoxide alarms installed in all rooms where fuel burning appliances are situated. However, items such as light bulbs are the responsibility of the tenant to replace. It is crucial that these terms are set out and clarified in the tenancy agreement in order to avoid disagreements.
Some parts of letting property are non-negotiable. For example, it’s essential that the boiler is regularly serviced and works to maintain a safe and constant supply of hot water for the tenant. If there is any leak in the water supply or the boiler breaks, then it is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure it is fixed at their earliest convenience. It is also wise to check if your rental property will be left empty during Christmas breaks, and if the boiler is likely to be switched off for any extended period during particularly cold weather. This is because of the risk of freezing to water pipes, which could then cause central heating issues when the tenant returns to continue their studies in January.
Rent payment collections can also cause concern for potential landlords of student housing. The stigma that students are irresponsible with money and are inexperienced with arranging bills and making regular payments, however, is not a reflection of current students and is an outdated mindset.
For the most part, students make guaranteed, reliable tenants every year due to the cycle of the academic year.
You can rest assured that if your current tenant is planning to vacate the property when their tenancy comes to an end, a new tenant will likely be ready and waiting to take over the tenancy at the start of the upcoming academic year.
Don’t waste any time in conducting a thorough check-out report.
Start your free trial here today.