Ah, the student tenant market! It’s vibrant, ever-renewing, and brimming with potential. Whether you’re a seasoned landlord or thinking about entering into the world of student rentals, attracting quality student tenants is key to a successful and stress-free investment. Students are looking for convenience, affordability, and a conducive environment for both study and socialising. They value properties close to campus, libraries, and amenities.

By tailoring your property to meet these needs, you’re already on your way to attracting quality tenants. But how do you make your property the top pick for the cream of the academic crop? Here, we explore some top tips to make your student rental property stand out and ensure a steady flow of responsible, reliable student tenants. 

Student tenants in front of a rented house.

Why you should attract students

Firstly, let’s understand the benefits of renting your property to students. It can be a strategic move for you, as a landlord, for several reasons. The student rental market offers unique advantages that can benefit property owners in both the short and long term, so here’s why you should consider targeting students for your rental properties:

Consistent demand

Students represent a consistently renewing demographic. Every academic year brings a new influx of students looking for accommodation, ensuring a steady demand for rentals near educational institutions, especially in bigger cities with universities. This can lead to lower vacancy rates and more stable rental income.

Long-term tenants

Also, while students typically rent on a term-by-term or annual basis, the cyclical nature of academic years means you can have a continuous stream of tenants if your property remains appealing. Satisfied student tenants are likely to recommend your property to their peers, potentially filling your rental queue for several years ahead.

Higher rent potential

Properties in popular student areas can often command higher rents, especially if they offer features particularly appealing to students, such as proximity to campuses and libraries, furnished rooms, and inclusive utilities. The ability to rent out properties by room rather than as a single unit can also increase overall rental yield.

Market resilience

The student housing market is often more resilient to economic downturns than the standard rental market. Education remains a priority for many, and enrollment numbers can even increase during economic recessions as individuals seek additional qualifications to improve employability.

Opportunity for value-added services

Renting to students opens opportunities to offer value-added services, such as cleaning, laundry, or internet, which can enhance rental income. These services not only make your property more attractive to prospective tenants but also allow you to diversify your income streams.

Simplified marketing

Marketing to students is relatively straightforward, with clear channels to reach your target audience, such as college housing offices, online student forums, and social media platforms. Another thing to note is that students also tend to make housing decisions quickly, reducing the time and effort required to fill vacancies.

Flexibility in lease terms

The student rental market allows for flexibility in lease terms, with the academic calendar dictating the rental cycle. This can be advantageous for landlords looking to fill vacancies during off-peak times or wanting to align rental agreements with the school year for easier management.

Building a rental history

Young students often rent for the first time, which means you have the opportunity to shape their renting behaviours. This can include educating them on the importance of timely rent payments, property care, and communication, potentially leading to more responsible tenants in the long run.

Diversification of investment portfolio

Including student rentals in your property portfolio diversifies your investment and spreads risk. Different types of rental properties can respond differently to market changes, and having a variety in your portfolio can provide a buffer against fluctuations in any single market segment.

How to attract student tenants

A representation of an eco-friendly property.

Attracting students is not as daunting as it may seem and, as you can see, there are many different benefits to renting your property to this demographic. Now, let’s take a look at how you can attract quality students.

Offer competitive pricing

While students look for comfort and convenience, budget is often their primary concern. Competitive pricing is key. Research local rental rates to ensure your property is priced appropriately. Offering all-inclusive rent (utilities included) can also be a major draw, simplifying students’ lives and making budgeting easier.

Highlight key amenities

High-speed internet is something that students will be keeping their eye on when looking for accommodation. Today’s students rely on the internet for everything from research and online classes to streaming and social media. 

Other attractive amenities include laundry facilities, bike storage, and common areas for socialising. If your property offers these, make sure they’re front and centre in your marketing efforts.

Focus on safety and security

For many students (and their parents), safety is a top priority. Ensure your property has adequate lighting, secure locks, and, if possible, a secure entry system. 

It is important to keep in mind that students will be out all night, either studying at the library for their next exam or enjoying the nightlife, so they will be coming back home late at night or in the early hours of the morning. 

Highlighting these safety features in your property listing can make your property more appealing to safety-conscious renters. 

Simplify the application and leasing process

The digital age has made us all expect quick and easy transactions. Simplify the application and leasing process by offering online applications, virtual tours, and digital lease signing. This convenience can be a significant draw for tech-savvy students.

Foster a community atmosphere

Many students are living away from home for the first time and are eager to meet new people. Creating a sense of community can make your property more attractive. 

Consider organising welcome events, study groups, or social nights. A strong sense of community can not only attract students but also encourage them to renew their leases.

Offer flexible lease terms

Students’ needs can vary widely, with some looking for 12-month leases and others needing accommodation just for the academic year. Offering flexible lease terms can make your property more appealing to a broader range of students.

Maintain a high standard of maintenance

A well-maintained and clean property is essential for attracting quality tenants. Regular maintenance and prompt attention to repair requests show that you care about the property and your tenants’ well-being. This can encourage tenants to take better care of the property during their stay, too.

Use targeted marketing strategies

We briefly touched on this earlier, but to reach student tenants, you need to market where they are. This means advertising on social media platforms, university housing boards, and other online sites frequented by students. 

Word-of-mouth is also powerful in student communities, so encourage current or past satisfied tenants to spread the word.

Be responsive and approachable

A landlord who is responsive and approachable can make all the difference. Be clear about your availability and how tenants can reach you. Establishing a good rapport with your tenants can lead to a more positive renting experience for both parties.

Encourage responsible renting

Setting clear expectations from the start can help ensure a responsible tenant-landlord relationship. Consider including guidelines on noise levels, visitors, and property upkeep in your lease agreement. 

Again, as we mentioned earlier, you will have the opportunity to help students learn good renting etiquette for future leases they may sign. Offering incentives for good tenancy, such as a small discount for prompt rent payment or renewing the lease, can also encourage responsible behaviour.

Provide a personal touch

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of a personal touch. A welcome note, a small welcome gift, or a list of local recommendations can make a big impression on move-in day. Showing that you care about your tenants’ experience can set a positive tone for the entire tenancy.

Attracting quality student tenants requires a blend of competitive pricing, understanding the student lifestyle, offering the right amenities, and fostering a welcoming community. By focusing on these key areas, you can make your property a sought-after choice for student renters. 

Remember, a happy student tenant is more likely to be a responsible and respectful tenant, making your life as a landlord that much easier. Here’s to a thriving student rental property filled with happy, studious tenants!

For more information on HMO Landlord Insurance, get in touch with us at CIA Landlords on 01788 818 670.  

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