Thinking of becoming a student landlord in Brighton?

15/06/2015

Becoming a student landlord can be a lucrative move, but it’s important to know how to target your property towards this large and regularly replenished demographic.

Fortunately, a new report put together by Glide Utilities revealed some handy pointers on what students are looking for when it comes to rental property. The study, ‘What Students Seek’, aims to help student landlords (or would-be student landlords) by identifying the common trends in the market, thus enabling them to alter their properties to attract the very best tenants year after year.

Traditionally, students have a reputation for being unfussy when it comes to where they live. There are signs, however, that this is changing, with many students now looking for extra comfort. 61% would like double beds, while a third underlined their desire for en suite bathrooms.

However, students are a realistic bunch and most of their decisions are based on practicality rather than luxury. By far the most important consideration is fast internet access, with 83% highlighting this as a key concern. This isn’t exactly surprising – firstly, the world is becoming increasingly digital; secondly, students are arguably the demographic who will spend more time online than any other.

Ample storage space, though, wasn’t far behind, with 72% of students on the lookout for this. Extra cupboards and the installation of fast, reliable broadband won’t leave you out of pocket, so making sure you have these things in place will greatly increase your chances of filling your property.

Likewise, pricing your property correctly will play a key role in determining how successful you will be in this sector. Students are famously budget-conscious and would clearly rather spend their money on things other than rent. At the same time, you have to have one eye on your rental yields. So it’s important that you price your property competitively. This, of course, will depend largely on location. You need to work with your letting agent to work out the local rents and then set a price accordingly.

This brings us onto location. As the TV programme says, location, location, location is everything where student property is concerned. Over half of those surveyed said being close to their university campus was very important, 31% cited good transport links as a key factor, while 13% were keen to be situated in a student-heavy area. Interestingly, only 9% listed ‘good access to bars and clubs’ as a very important consideration. This comes as students start to prioritise their studies over social activities.

Clearly, if you want to make a success of being a student landlord, location is very important. Buying properties in these areas might cost a little more, but the long-term rewards will be greater. While no investment is ever risk-free, investment in heavily populated student areas seems like a pretty safe bet. As long as you market your property correctly, it stands to reason that you will have a regular stream of tenants and a consistent source of rental income.

This is even more the case in a big university city like Brighton, where thousands of students are looking for somewhere to live at the start of every academic year. Locate your property well and it seems inevitable that you will attract tenants.

While 59% of students are happy with the way their property is being managed, 66% said they have experienced problems at some point. This usually centres on a lack of communication, although unannounced visits and surprise inspections were also unpopular. Maintenance issues and poor property upkeep were also highlighted as troublesome issues. These are easily rectified, though – make sure you inform tenants before turning up to the property, and keep on top of all maintenance jobs to prevent smaller problems becoming larger ones.

As we discussed in a previous blog, Brighton, Hove and the surrounding areas are home to a large student population, making this part of the world an ideal location for first-time student landlords and existing student landlords alike.

For more information about letting your property, please contact Mishon Mackay on: 01273 821 800. We also have a handy instant online valuation tool that will give you an accurate estimate of the rents you should be charging.