Investing in property has long been a favourite way for budding entrepreneurs to cut their teeth and gain some experience in investing and establishing a passive income. No matter what state the wider property market is in, there are always going to be students requiring accommodation. This makes renting property out to students an attractive business prospect for anyone looking to break into the property game.
Naturally, before you can rent a property out to students, you will first need to identify a suitable property to offer. The needs and requirements of students will be quite different from those of most tenants, and what might normally be prime real estate can be underwhelming from a student perspective.
If you are going to be buying a new property for this specific purpose, location is everything. If you can find a property that is within walking distance of the university, while also providing easy access to other local amenities, it will pretty much sell itself. The nearer the tenants will be to other students, the better.
Finally, think about the size of any properties you look at. Most students will be looking to live with their peers as a group, and relatively few want to live entirely on their own. You shouldn’t have any trouble filling a 4- or 5-bedroom property if it is located in the right area.
Most universities will have a list of landlords that they will recommend to students. In order to make the list, you need to be able to prove to the university that your offer is all above board. If you can get yourself on this list, then you are all but guaranteed to be able to find lodgers for your rooms. Students will look to this list as their first port of call, so being included on it puts you in an excellent position for finding tenants.
The exact process for being accredited will vary from uni to uni. Contact the relevant local university for your property to enquire about how their accreditation works. Generally, it is a very simple process. Once you have shown that the property and offer are legitimate and up to standard, that’s usually enough.
Just like any other business, it is important to know who you will be competing against. Universities will offer their own accommodation in student halls, but there is also a growing market for private student accommodation, and these will be your main competitors. In some areas, the local competition will be offering properties like the Charles Morton Court Student Accommodation in London, reflective of the kind of private student halls London has to offer. Collegiate’s student accommodation comes with an extra layer of bliss that few of their competitors can match.
If you are competing against businesses like Collegiate, who offer high-end accommodation for students, it will often make more sense for you to focus your efforts on another portion of the market. Not all students are after high-end accommodation, and many will also be penny-pinching and willing to make sacrifices. It might be better to cater to a different demographic altogether.
Whether you have previous experience as a landlord or not, renting properties to students is a very different game from renting to adults in general. There are both advantages and disadvantages to renting to students, but one of the key advantages from a business perspective is that you can be confident of finding tenants year after year.