How can landlords succeed within the student market? There are a number of key things to consider if you want to find the perfect property to rent. From location, price and type of property to communication methods, getting each right could save guard your business.
A survey of 500 undergraduate students in the UK revealed certain mismatches between how landlords are conducting their businesses and how students would prefer them to.
The survey, conducted by Towergate, revealed that the average student in the UK pays between £300 and £499 per month to rent a room in a property they share with at least two other tenants. But just how should a student landlord go about finding a student property and subsequently maintaining good communications with their tenants?
Product, price and location
Results show that large bedrooms are the most sought-after property feature for students – so much so that you can forgive landlords for converting the living room into an additional bedroom. They also value a fast internet connection as much as a comfy living room.
Student may be more budget-conscious, but most would pay more if their landlord provided cleaning services as part of the tenancy contract.
Although the student property market is fast moving, with a high turnover of tenants, 68 per cent of students would prefer to stay in the same property throughout their time at university.
Perhaps surprisingly, most students (64 per cent) would prefer to live close to a supermarket than restaurants, bars or even their university campus. Less than half of students (43 per cent) can commute to their university campus within 15 minutes, and 28 per cent rely on public transport to get to lectures and seminars.
Staying on top of communication
Although face-to-face and telephone contact between landlords and tenants are the most common, students would rather use email to communicate with their landlord than any other method.
Only five per cent of students have communicated with their landlord through an instant messaging app like WhatsApp, but 15 per cent say they would prefer this to telephone or email.
Although just 15 per cent of students are dissatisfied with their current accommodation, one-in-five (20 per cent) say they have had disappointing experiences with landlords.
When asked about what behaviour frustrates them most, 73 per cent said a landlord who is slow to respond and deal with any issues they report, closely followed by landlords who visit unannounced – which is illegal.
Alison Wild from Towergate commented: “Student accommodation can be a rewarding investment for landlords. However, it’s important that student landlords consider the insurance implications of renting out houses in multiple occupancy (HMOs), as well as the possibility that the property may annually be empty for over 30 days and therefore require unoccupied property insurance.”