How to become a student landlord
Student buy-to-lets are notoriously profitable investments, often generating high rental yields.
Letting property to students can help landlords to maximise their returns by charging per room rather than per property. In addition, student property prices are often lower than average, while demand is usually consistently high.
If you’ve decided to invest in a student buy-to-let, then there’s plenty to consider before you can begin profiting from your investment.
In this article, we learn more about student lets, how to become a landlord, and student house rental.
Buying a property to rent out to students
To be successful as a student landlord, you’ll need an appropriate property in the right location.
Students usually look for accommodation that is close to campus, amenities, and nightlife. Most university cities have certain postcode areas that are hotspots for students.
Many students live in shared accommodation in groups of four or five people. If you buy a three or four-bedroom property, you may be able to convert one of the downstairs living spaces into an additional bedroom.
Once you have found a suitable property, you need to obtain a buy-to-let mortgage.
Most lenders are happy to finance student buy-to-lets providing you meet their criteria. To get the best deal, you’ll need to shop around.
Understand the student accommodation regulations for landlords
Before you advertise your property to students, you need to ensure it is safe and meets relevant student accommodation regulations for landlords.
Failure to meet your obligations and responsibilities as a student landlord is a criminal offence and could result in a fine or prosecution, so it’s important to have a thorough understanding of the regulations at the outset.
If your student buy-to-let is going to be shared by three or more tenants from different households then you will need to obtain an HMO (houses in multiple occupancy) license.
According to HMO regulations, rooms can only be used as a bedroom for sleeping if they meet the minimum floor area dimensions.
It is also a landlord’s responsibility to ensure their student buy-to-let is ‘safe and free from health hazards.’
This includes ensuring your student accommodation complies with relevant regulations for gas, electrical, and fire safety.
Prepare the student property
Once you’ve found a property and secured a mortgage, it’s time to get the house ready for tenants.
First, you should check the condition of the house and have any necessary repairs or improvements carried out to ensure it is safe and comfortable to live in.
This could include fixing any damp problems, upgrading windows and doors, and having all gas and electric appliances serviced.
Once you’ve got the basics covered, you’ll need to think about the property’s aesthetics, carrying out any decorating required and furnishing the house. Bear in mind that student houses are subjected to a lot of wear and tear. For that reason, many landlords prefer to use darker colours throughout student properties to keep them looking better for longer.
Most students look for housing that is fully furnished, so you’ll need to provide all the essentials as standard including a fridge, freezer, sofa, beds, wardrobes, washing machine, cooker, desks, curtains, and vacuum cleaner. Many student landlords also provide a television, cookware, cutlery, plates, and bowls.
Including free or cheap Wi-Fi in the price of the rent can also make your property more appealing to prospective tenants!
Let the property through a student letting agent
Rental for students can be more complicated than regular letting because student lets are subject to more rules and regulations.
Many student landlords choose to let their property through a student letting agent like the team at Student Haus.
Using a letting agent makes letting to students simple and hassle-free, helping landlords to maximise their ROI.
Student letting agents can provide a range of useful services to student landlords including:
- Marketing and advertising the property
- Carrying out property viewings
- Organising deposits
- Administration of contracts and agreements
- Dealing with property maintenance and repairs
- Organising safety checks
- Rent collection and arrears administration
Here at Student Haus, we specialise in student lets throughout the North West, offering student lettings in Bolton, student lettings in Liverpool, and student lettings in Salford.
We provide student landlords with the option of a let-only service or a fully managed service, allowing them to choose a service that best suits their budget and requirements.
For more information about our landlord services in Salford, Liverpool & Bolton, get in touch by calling our team on 0161 694 6427.
Draw up a student tenancy agreement
Next, you’ll need to draw up a student tenancy agreement.
The tenancy agreement is a legal agreement between you and the students you let the property to. Important information that should be included in a student tenancy agreement includes:
- Landlord and tenant personal details
- Agreement start and end dates
- Tenancy deposit details
- The terms of the tenancy
- Details of rent payments and interest for late payments
- Bill payments and responsibilities
- Details of guarantor if applicable
Most student tenancy agreements are fixed-term, assured, shorthold tenancies.
You will need to decide whether the agreement is to be a joint or sole tenancy agreement.
A joint agreement gives all tenants joint liability, and all the tenants’ contracts start and end at the same time.
A sole agreement means each tenant is responsible for their own payments and actions and each person’s contract can be started and terminated separately.
Inventory check and handing over the keys
Before your tenants move in, you should carry out an inventory check where you list the contents of the property and take photographs of the condition that items are in.
This can then be used as evidence if any disputes over damages occur later down the line.
On the day that the tenants move in, you can then meet them at the property to hand over the keys and go through the inventory together.
For more information about student lets and how to become a student landlord in Greater Manchester, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team of specialist student letting agents at Student Haus by calling us on 0161 694 6427.