Top tips for student rents
Landlords must be prepared for the potential effects of the increasing financial burden being placed upon students, according to the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA).
Recently it was revealed that 15,000 fewer young people had applied for university places starting this academic year. This reduction in student numbers will have a dual impact on landlords who traditionally let their properties in university towns.
Firstly, there will be less overall demand, meaning a more proactive approach is required to secure tenants. Secondly, with student budgets coming under increasing pressures, value for money will be more important than ever before.
Ian Potter, managing director of ARLA, said: "Landlords should not be surprised by the drop in student numbers, which follows on from the hike in fees and ongoing tough employment conditions. In recent times student lettings has been an area of almost constant growth, but it is now time for landlords to recognise that there may be more competition for tenants.
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"Having a positive reputation and letting good quality properties is the best way of encouraging tenants."
For landlords looking for effective ways of encouraging student tenants, ARLA has the following tips:
1. View the property as a prospective tenant would
Would-be tenants may be turning down your property because of something as simple as different sized rooms. If there is one room that is substantially smaller the others, consider whether it is worth turning it into a spare/storage room or charging reduced rent.
2. OFFER more than just walls
If you are struggling to generate interest in your property it may be worth offering tenants something extra. Including broadband or a TV licence in the price of the property could help it stand out.
3. GET the price right
Pricing is a key consideration for students and it is important to make sure you are not charging over the odds for the area.
4. Make use of void periods
An untenanted property offers a great opportunity for minor improvements to be made, without having to disrupt existing tenants.
5. Make use of summer
It may be worth considering signing tenants on for a 'term time only' contract. This will allow you to let the property out on a short term basis during the summer.