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Tips on being a student landlord

Many landlords are first introduced to landlording as students. I remember in the 80’s watching from my bedroom window as the landlord turned up in his Porsche; collected the rent cheques and then went. I thought that’s the life for me!

Since becoming a landlord I have dabbled with renting to students but have decided to concentrate on young professionals. Consequently I’m a little green about the finer points of running a rental business that lets to this group of tenants.

Landlords – looking for building insurance for student accommodation?

Expert student landlords – share their secrets

I was therefore delighted when two of our users agreed to share their expertise with Property Hawk readers of letting out high quality properties to student tenants. Maggie and Terry Samuel are both teachers and remembered their student days when the stayed in places almost unfit for human habitation. They were determined to provide something better. They started six years ago when they purchased their first property for their daughter when she went to university. This enabled her to stay rent free whilst the other students paid for the mortgage. They have subsequently developed their portfolio by buying one additional property each year. They are self taught having done most of their research over the Internet. Off course this was in the days before Property Hawk – finding out about buy-to-let investment is much easier now!

Tips for buying and renting to students:

Manage your own buy-to-let property and save considerable sums of money.

Locate local contractors for repairs.

Search the Internet for free tenancy agreements and forms.

Use some of the money saved to purchase 24-hour emergency insurance cover for gas, plumbing and electricity.

Find an insurance company that covers dripping taps or alternatively make the tenant
responsible for replacing tap washers.

Advertise properties on free Internet sites, including Gumtree, Letalife and Torent. See article on Free Ways to Advertise Lets.

Landlords should send their advert for their buy-to-let investment property to the student union at the local universities.

Don’t show students around the property; once the first group of student tenants are in place; get permission from the existing tenants, for you to give prospective tenants, their telephone numbers. They then manage the visit at their convenience. For responsible landlords, the existing tenants will be a landlord’s best advert for finding new tenants.

Obtain emails and telephone numbers when signing the contract. If someone’s rent is late, email all the tenants, not just the one at fault, so the tenants can hassle each other to solve the situation. Better still; get the tenants to open their own household account, so they send only one rental payment.

Landlords should join a free accreditation scheme, often run by the Local Council. Accredited buy-to-let properties have a market advantage. Universities often recommend students view accredited properties. Guides to accreditation schemes can be found on council websites. This is an excellent way to discover how to furnish, maintain and develop a landlord’s buy-to-let investment property appropriately.

Purchase three bedroom properties and convert to four bedrooms. Partition a lounge with a stud wall. Students prefer a larger bedroom, rather than a larger

If the loft isn’t fully boarded, lock the hatch and include an exclusion clause in the tenancy agreement else you might find more than you bargained for in there after the tenants have left.

Properties with more than two floors and five or more tenants need an expensive House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence , so buy properties to rent to four students, for maximum income.

Put double beds in bedrooms and, if you can squeeze it in, fit a three quarter bed in the smallest room. This will definitely give you an advantage in the student market. As long as they pay their rent, don’t
worry about who stays over night!

So should you become a student landlord?



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