Advantages and disadvantages of letting to students

Letting to students is not for everyone, so consider the pros and cons
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If your property is in a student hotspot or university town then there is always going to be demand. But letting to students is not for everyone, so consider the pros and cons before you advertise your property.

Students usually come in groups and don’t have many belongings, so they want houses or flats with lots of furnished bedrooms and large communal spaces. More than one toilet or bathroom would be a bonus that can help you charge higher rents.

Advantages of letting to students

  • Typically, students are not overly fussy about having state-of-the-art accommodation. For many it might be their first rental and they’re more interested in being with their friends. Older properties with multiple rooms are ideal.
  • You can charge rent per room. Since there are often more tenants in a student let than there woudl be family members in a similar property, especially if you have converted a living area into another bedroom, you can expect high returns.
  • It is relatively easy to find tenants, particularly if you are close to a university campus!
  • Students move on, so you are not tied into any long-term contracts.

Generally, students are reliable tenants, easy-going and undemanding. And best of all there’s a new pool of them searching for accommodation every year. So, what’s not to like?

Disadvantages of student lettings

  • Demand for privately let student housing is being affected by the rise of purpose built private student accommodation. Research your area thoroughly.
  • Bills for maintenance and repairs will probably be higher than usual but then you can offset this against the cost of not needing to provide expensive furniture and décor.
  • You should always have a guarantor as students generally can't provide credit references since they are coming from their family home.
  • You may have a few months where your property is vacant during the summer holidays until the new term starts, but many student landlords successfully insist on 12-month leases.
  • You might have to deal with noise complaints from neighbours or the local council if your tenants like to party.

While you are weighing up the advantages and disadvantages to student lettings, consider whether you will need to have certain accreditations as well. A property that is let to three or more tenants who are not related could be classed as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), in which case you will need to be licensed by your local authority.

You can also become an accredited landlord by a university, which means that you will be a recommended and trusted first port of call for students seeking new digs. Imagine how easy it would be to find tenants that way!


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