Student lettings is one of the most lucrative areas of the rental market, but investing in the sector can be daunting. Many landlords fear trashed properties, ruined furnishings and late rent and decide to steer clear of student accommodation all together.
But perhaps they shouldn’t be too hasty – the key to getting the most out of the student sector is to make things as easy as possible for your tenants. If you don’t give them the option to make a mess of things or miss payments, then most likely they won’t.
Here are some simple hacks that will help you score highly with student tenants and ensure your property is returned safe and sound at the end of the tenancy, fresh for your next batch of freshers.
Wait for payday
If you want to make sure that your students pay the rent on time, adjust the rent dates so that they coincide with the release of student loans. In addition to drastically reducing the chances of late payments, your flexibility should also buy you good will – and a good reputation amongst the student body. Bear in mind that you won’t be able to adjust the first due date, but can from thereonin.
Give them carte blanche to decorate
The key to getting the best out of your tenants is to make them feel like your house is their home, so they’re invested in looking after it. The best way to make the place feel like home is to allow them to decorate it as they want to. Opt for hardwearing neutral decoration, dark carpets and light walls and let them go to town with pictures and posters. The better they think the place looks, the more they’ll want to keep it that way.
Don’t skimp on creature comforts
You don’t have to spend a lot of money but little things like double beds in all the rooms will win you points with your tenants. And in keeping with helping yourself, consider providing decent bins, microwaves and the all-important dishwasher. The more assistance you provide them in keeping things clean, the better your chances are.
Knowledge is power
Remember that it’s in your interest that your tenants are happy, not just in the property, but also at university. For most, it will be their first time away from home, which can be a little scary. Providing information about local bus services, transport links and local amenities (think takeaways and supermarkets) should help a shaky fresher feel more secure.
Something as simple as ensuring that your house has wifi and that there are phone and power sockets in every bedroom will make your house much more appealing.
Spell it out for them
Make sure you have the manual for every single appliance in the house. Most of Generation Rent can’t even boil an egg on their own; so imagine what the generation beneath them are incapable of! Providing guides and manuals limits the amount of calls you’re going to get about things that “don’t work” but actually do.
Communication is key
On that note, the best way to make any tenant feel comfortable in your accommodation is to make yourself available to them. Make sure that the tenants have your phone and email address and if they come to you with an issue, be proactive in solving it. Technology can also boost your communication by providing tenants 24/7 access, while reducing the number of calls you receive.
Remember if you’re approachable for smaller problems, tenants are far more likely to contact you about the bigger ones, which means your property will be in better hands!