84% agree that students make good tenants
As a landlord or letting agent, there are many factors to consider when renting a property, including finding your ideal tenants. On first glance students may not be your first choice, but new findings by utilities and service provider for students, Glide, and Accommodation for Students, found that students are in fact the most desirable tenants.
The annual report reveals that 69% of landlords and letting agents feel it is better to let to students than non-students. This was consistent across all regions in the UK with the exception of London, where just 43% preferred student tenants.
84% of all respondents also agreed that students make good tenants. This was put down to their associated benefits: better rental yields (76.5%), annual market for new students (53.7%), rent is guaranteed by a parent/guardian (45.6%) and rent is paid promptly (25%). Only 3.7% of those surveyed reported experiencing no benefit associated with letting to students.
Despite these benefits, some challenges were also highlighted when letting to students. These included; the cost of maintaining a HMO licence (57.4%); the fact students are more time consuming than letting to non-students (50.7%); the turnover of tenancies (46.3%); and damage caused to the property (41.2%). One in ten reported experiencing no issues associated with letting to student tenants.
Those with smaller portfolios more commonly reported issues relating to costs, such as the cost of maintaining a HMO. Those who manage larger portfolios were more likely to report issues relating to property damage and students being more time consuming as tenants than non-students.
With less than one month until A Level results day, which sparks an annual peak in the search for accommodation, Richard Price head of Business Development for Glide offers guidance for landlords and letting agents who are thinking of letting their property to students for the first time:
"There is a lot of confidence in the student rental market. Gone are the days where students digs equals sub standard. The truth is, students make great tenants – they're in constant supply and have guaranteed means to pay the rent. With annual turnovers and a desire to rent to this market, landlords and letting agents should make their properties as attractive and visible to students during the clearing period. Here are a few tips to keep things simple and attract the right tenants this summer."
1. HMO License: If you are planning to let your property to more than two students, a HMO licence is essential. Although this can feel like a hefty sum up front (£770 per property per year), you will soon recoup this, as it enables you to let out every room in your property.
2. Advertise: If you have left it too late to advertise in print, utilise specialist websites which offer an inexpensive platform to advertise your property or contact your local universities' accommodation office – this is often the first place new students will look for accommodation.
3. Plan: Rather than leave it to chance, schedule dedicated times for group viewings. This gives potential tenants a chance to meet one another. If they get on well, they are more likely to stay together and stay in your property.
4. Social media: If you have a portfolio of properties, developing social media pages are an inexpensive way to showcase images and post availability. Be creative – if you have one or more tenants interested, find out a bit about them and use their hobbies or personality traits to engage with others like them.
5. Keep things simple: 71.9% of students rate inclusive bills as either an essential or important factor when choosing a property. Bills can cause stress and create arguments in a shared house, while landlords and letting agents can sometimes be left with unpaid bills. Inclusive bills are an easy solution to avoid these issues.
6. Insurance: While our research suggests that students make the best tenants, it still pays to be covered in case anything goes wrong.
7. Get the balance right: After your tenants have moved in there are likely to be questions, so it's good to be available and approachable, but you also need to set boundaries. It is not your job to change light bulbs and they should all know where the fuse box is!
Notes to editors
· For more press information please contact Shelley Doyle or Chevi Davis at Present PR.
· Glide is the UK's utilities and service provider for shared households, which strives to make life simple for students, letting agents and landlords.
· Glide manages utilities on behalf of landlords and letting agents offering all-inclusive rates, providing one single bill to cover all utilities across all properties each month.
· For students paying utilities, Glide provides one single bill to each individual student for a share of the household's monthly utilities, which means students are responsible for their own bills and not the debts of others.
· www.accommodationforstudents.com is the UK's leading student accommodation website. Founded in 2000 by Simon Thompson, the site has gone from strength to strength and now attracts over 3 million visitors each year. There are over 770,000 students registered with the site and around 20,000 landlords and letting agents with active accounts.
· Results taken from the annual Landlord Report, which includes findings of a survey of 146 landlords, letting agents and private hall managers, investigating changes, trends and perspectives on the student rental market today.