When you choose to cater to student renters as a landlord or letting agent, it’s fair to say you do it with some amount of trepidation. After all, for many students, renting out your property would be their first taste of independent homemaking. Mistakes are inevitable, and ordinary property maintenance and safety procedures may not be followed.
This means you’ll need to take steps to make sure your property remains secure and in good condition – one of which is to foster a fruitful tenant-landlord relationship. By getting to know the student body – learning what they like, how they behave and what their aspirations are – you can better cater to students and manage risks.
With the help of the Currys’ Savvy Student Guide, we’ve found you three top tips on renting to the university-bound, straight from the students themselves.
1. Provide student-friendly perks
The Savvy Student Guide found that the lowest weekly expenditure for students is on furniture and miscellaneous items. With students spending an average of only £13 a week for items around the house, it’s clear that interior design isn’t a top priority. Instead, their money goes mainly towards groceries and clothes, so make sure to provide plenty of space for both.
We’re thinking large, built-in wardrobes (with a built-in mirror), ceiling-high kitchen shelves, and perhaps even a mini fridge in each room. The generous furniture will be an attractive feature that’ll pay for itself in renter interest, while your tenants will appreciate the attention to detail (and may take better care of the place as a result).
2. Have an online presence
68% of students shop online, according to the guide, and it doesn’t end there. Whether they’re using Turnitin for assignments, Tinder for dating or getting an Uber home after a night out, apps and online sites dominate student lives.
So, if you want to cater to students and make your life easier in the process, make sure you have an online presence. You could, for example, create a Twitter account where they can send DMs (direct messages) with complaints and queries, or set up a free website where they can get information on property-related issues.
Of course, if you do this, make sure to check these platforms regularly (or enable notifications on your phone) so you don’t miss any potential emergencies. Moving everything online can free up admin time for you, while at the same time letting students feel more in control.
3. Think student lifestyle
During our time at university, we manage to build a chaotic routine that squeezes in our seminars, lectures and coursework between the various social obligations that pop up. It’s a lifestyle that’s inherent to the student experience, and you’ll benefit from catering to them as much as possible to get a successful tenancy out of students.
One fact uncovered from the Student Savvy Guide states that 78% of them plan to take a trip away and only 8% book last-minute. For those forward-planning student tenants, offering flexible tenancy agreements that help them make the most of their room while abroad might be a good bet.
The first step to successful tenancy is understanding your tenants and their needs. By catering to the specific needs of student renters – while still taking care to mitigate their unique risks – you can create a more pleasant environment for tenant and landlord alike.