Who will rent your property in 2021?
Fewer international tenants post-Brexit, more tenants in arrears due to post-pandemic job losses and the possibility of oversupply in the rental market. This is the grim prediction of one industry commentator in the property press today.
But there is one bright spot on the horizon. Students. Not the demographic that is always most popular with landlords, as they are often accused of being careless with rented property and are more likely to throw noisy parties and annoy the neighbours than families or professional couples. But with the outlook uncertain for the PRS over the next 12 months, maybe it’s time to think again.
Autumn 2021 could be a bumper year for student accommodation – and not many universities can house the numbers needing homes for the academic year, even with private providers as part of the mix. This is due to a combination of factors all coming together to increase next year's student cohort.
- Students who have deferred their places until 2021
- A tight post-pandemic job market leading to more school leavers seeking university places
- International students (and second years) who were in university accommodation last year looking for houses and flats in the private rental market.
All this adds up to increasing demand close to universities. It also delivers a group of tenants who will want their tenancy for at least a year – and if they like it, may stay put. An estimated 40% of graduates settle in the area after they graduate – at least for a year or two – and they will still need somewhere to live. Reducing void periods is always a plus point for landlords, so if you think offering your property to students may be an option, what’s the best way to make it work for you?
Here are our tips.
- Students want fully furnished accommodation. So do provide desks and comfortable communal areas – but don’t opt for luxury fixtures and fittings. Think homely but practical and hard-wearing.
- Students are like your own children – well-meaning but frequently clueless! So set out the ground rules clearly and tell your tenants what you expect from them. A noticeboard with a list of practical instructions such as when to put the bins out will help. Instruction books for household appliances are useful too.
- Household maintenance is unlikely to be one of your tenants’ key skills. So do tell them how the boiler works, where the stop cock is and who to call in an emergency.
- Talk to your tenants. This is always important no matter who you are renting to. Good communication goes a long way to resolving any problems or complaints before they escalate and student renters are no exception to this rule.
And finally, to ensure your rental property is always compliant with health and safety regulations and repairs are logged and dealt with efficiently – which helps any tenancy run smoothly – why not take a look at our automated rental platform PlanetRent. It’s pay-as-you-go and makes your tenants rental journey easy and painless. So check it out today.
Author : Maryanne Bowring
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