Can landlords refuse to rent to students?30-08-2022 | Property Occupants
Thinking of renting to students? Student rentals are in constant high demand. They offer the potential for high rental yields. Many insurers offer increased protection when renting to students. Sounds like every landlord’s dream, right? Well, sure – if you can put up with the equal potential for anti-social behaviour, lack of consistent income and property damage. Of course, many students make the perfect renters, but the stereotype of students being nightmare tenants does come from somewhere!
With this in mind, you might be wondering “can landlords refuse to rent to students?”. Read on to find out!
Why don’t landlords want to rent to students?
Some landlords are understandably reluctant to rent to students. Here are some reasons why:
Potential extended void periods
Void periods where your property stands empty are natural. Every landlord has them. With students, in the past, they could be predictable. Student tenancies typically start and end in the late summer. Usually, once one tenant leaves at the end of their summer semester, they will either renew their tenancy or move out. When they’ve moved out, the new crop of students are preparing to move in, so the property can fill quickly. However, with more and more landlords (and dedicated student halls) springing up all over the country, the huge amount of competition to fill student housing shouldn’t be underestimated. You could see your student property ending up empty for the whole academic year or longer.
Students prefer furnished accommodation
Most students don’t have the means to kit out a house with furniture, carpets, curtains and white goods. This means that in order to compete and fill your property, you’ll probably need to furnish your property. However, research from us here at CIA Landlord Insurance suggests that furnishing a property can increase your rental yield. On top of this, our research shows us that on average, a property can be furnished for just over £1500. Furnishing a property doesn’t have to break the bank, and it can make you some extra cash!
Students = parties and late nights
Even the most neighbour-friendly students have a loud party once in a while. Anti-social neighbours can make tenants and homeowners alike miserable – and make life hard for the landlord! It’s important to remember though that not every student will be a party animal. Personal or prior landlord referencing can help a lot during the screening process.
With parties come property damage…
As said, not every student will be a crazy party animal. And not every party is a raging one that results in property damage! It is true though that students tend to be some of the worst offenders when it comes to properties being vacated in bad shape. We’ve got good news for you though! Whether it’s simply a lack of upkeep and cleaning or intentional damage, there’s insurance to cover you. Student Insurance for landlords can help lessen or eliminate the financial burden of having to repair damage to your property.
A lack of consistent income
Students are known for being skint. Most aren’t exactly raking in the pennies even if they’re working on top of having a loan. This might seem worrying for potential landlords, but the good news is that you’re not unprotected. Making sure your tenant provides the details of a guarantor can help.
A guarantor is someone (usually family) who will take responsibility for the tenant’s obligations, including paying rent, if the tenant is unable to fulfil them. They can also step in if there is damage to the property that a tenant refuses to rectify. This is quite a common option for young or first-time renters.
A guarantor must be over 21 years of age, with a good credit history, financially stable, and a UK resident. If you do decide to use a guarantor, be sure to perform an affordability and credit check on them too, to make sure that they can pay rent.
So, can landlords refuse to accept students?
Yes! It’s perfectly acceptable for a landlord to refuse a tenancy because the aspiring occupants are students. Having concerns about things like your tenant’s income, behaviour, or ability to look after the property are valid.
Students aren’t a protected characteristic, so it’s perfectly legal and ethical to refuse to rent to them. However, the benefits of renting to students can outweigh the positives. If you can deal with a little extra potential stress then it’s a good idea to try not to tar all students with the same brush! Not all students are the same. Many of them make quiet, polite, and respectful tenants.
If renting to students still seems just a little too stressful, consider renting only to older students! You could also consider working professionals busy completing their master’s degrees or PhDs. They are more likely to have a rental history you can check. This means that as a landlord you could get a greater understanding of the student’s renting aptitude: whether they kept the property in good shape, paid the rent on time, and were respectful tenants, for instance.
And, at the end of the day, there’s always Student Insurance to fall back on if disaster strikes! To find out how student insurance can give you a little peace of mind when renting to students, contact us today.
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