A lot of buy to let property investors are turning their attention to the student rental market these days. There are several reasons that they are doing this which include:
- An increasing demand for student rentals
- Rental prices largely unaffected by the rise and fall of house prices
- High yields available in certain areas
For a buy to let investor to really make the best returns they need to know what students really want from landlords and their accommodation while at university. A survey conducted by Towergate Insurance in January of 2019 sought to answer this question.
Five hundred students were chosen by Towergate insurance to participate in the survey. They were asked a number of questions relating to the type of accommodation that they were looking for and how they wanted to communicate with their landlords.
This is what Students really want
The results of the Towergate Insurance survey are gold for buy to let investors. The key findings were:
- Students really like to have large bedrooms and living rooms
- They always require high speed Internet connectivity
- They want their accommodation to be near to a supermarket
- The preferred method of communication with landlords is email
- A lot of the participants (68%) said that they preferred to live in the same place for their entire stay at university
So what does this all mean for buy to let investors? Well the main thing here is that a landlord needs to be prepared to make their available accommodation suitable for student living. Then they need to work hard to create a good relationship with their student tenants.
A good relationship is essential for the renewal of tenancy contracts. Students felt that landlords should do more to provide them with discounted rents and also to consider short leases during the summer holiday period.
Students like to Live Together
Students that attend university do not usually have the financial wherewithal to rent on their own and accept the fact that they will be sharing accommodation with other students. This is a good way for them to make friends with others and save money at the same time. In the main, students like the idea of sharing with others.
This is why the demand for large rooms was so important. Having to share accommodation that is small and cramped is not what students want. They also want nice bathrooms and shower facilities too.
Location of their Accommodation
It was somewhat of a surprise that most students preferred to live near to a supermarket rather than restaurants and bars. One thing that was very important was the closeness of their accommodation to the university campus. A 15 minute commute was the maximum that they would accept.
Many university students have never lived away from their families before and need all of the help that they can get. They stated in the survey that having a good relationship with their landlord was crucial in this regard.
A lot of students would not know how to do basic things such as program a boiler so they wanted their landlord to respond quickly to any requests for help. They also said that it would be really helpful if the landlord could show them how to work everything at the beginning of their tenancy.