The start of the New Year brings with it the annual rush of students looking to secure accommodation for the next academic year. Make sure that your property is in good shape ready for viewings in order to secure the right tenants. Often the organised, responsible students will be viewing properties at the start of the search process as they are keen to secure the best properties.
Peak viewing times for student properties are January – March where students will be looking to secure properties for the next academic year, which will run from either July/September through to the end of June. Ensure that your property is ready for viewings during this peak time in order to secure the best tenants.
Home insurance and Landlords insurance aren’t the same so take out the appropriate insurance in order to protect you against the risks of letting the property to tenants. It is imperative to take out Rental Guarantee insurance to guarantee your rental income if tenants default on their rent.
Ordinarily the tenants will be liable for any council tax but if the property is furnished and vacant, then the Landlord will be responsible for payment so it’s important to account for this within your budget.
All student properties will need to be furnished. Although furnishings and fittings don’t need to be brand new, furniture must be sturdy and durable. A student bedroom will typically be furnished with a bed, wardrobe, chest of drawers and desk.
Legal duties and obligations
Landlords need to comply with certain legal requirements in order to ensure that the property is safe for tenants. Examples of this are gas and electrical safety certificates, Pat test, fire alarms, smoke or heat detectors, and repairing heating and hot water systems. If you intend to let to five or more students or the property is arranged over 3 storeys high, then you will require a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence.
Property management strategy
Student properties receive higher than normal use and can generate more maintenance and administration issues than letting the same property to a family. It is vital to undertake preventative jobs to prevent problems occurring and to budget for these appropriately.