It is estimated that there are 2.75 million students studying in the UK and the number is growing each year. With more students enrolled at universities than in the last decade, the value of being a student landlord has never been higher. However, being a landlord for students studying at universities can be viewed as a risky venture. While it’s not with no risk but it can also be extremely rewarding, as well as it’s a fantastic chance to increase your portfolio of investments.
Tenant requirements for landlords when letting students
One of the primary reason landlords can be with a cautious approach when it comes to students as tenants is due to the stigma associated with the student life. Maybe they are new to living on their own or lacking experience , or just beginning to be aware of their drinking limits. This lifestyle may result in more use and wear on the home and more repairs to be made after the lease.
However, not all students are alike. And even those that are just learning can be mindful of the environment in which they reside in. A landlord’s relationship with a a student tenant is also governed by contractual and legal rules to safeguard both parties. In this article, we’ll explore the various requirements.
Choosing whether to utilize an agency to manage the student tenants
The most frequent decision landlords must make is whether or not they would prefer to lease directly to tenants or employ a third-party leasing agency to handle the rental on their behalf. Each has advantages and disadvantages, as well as consequences for both finances and time. If you are renting an apartment for students there are additional issues you must know about (such as health and safety regulations, etc. ) and a let agent might be able to advise and assist you with.
For instance, did you have any idea there was a change in the House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) regulations were changed in 2018? The new regulations require that any property that has at least five tenants coming from two households is considered an HMO. These types of situations require careful thought to ensure you’re always in compliance with laws, providing the students with a safe and secure environment and ensuring that you are fulfilling your obligation of care as a landlord.
Legal requirements before allowing students
* Obtaining a lease license
If your property is located in an area with a restricted licensing, or you intend to rent it to multiple tenants then you’ll need a landlord license or HMO license.
* Get official permission for the use of the house
You’ll need the consent of any landlord, mortgage company, insurer or lender.
* Consider data implications
If you’re renting out privately and are recording, processing, or storing personal information, you’ll have to sign up at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). If you’re working with an agent to let your property and you’re renting from them, you’ll need to talk to them about the processes they use and the person who is responsible with.
* Be aware of the tenant’s fees
The Tenant Fees Act 2019 prevents tenants having to pay fees for referencing, drawing up contracts/inventories, carrying out credit checks or other tasks in relation to administration.
Click here for information on student property management.
* Get student verification
It is important to ensure the tenants’ status as full-time college students attending an educational institution.
* Verify your immigration status
If you’re renting in England it is necessary to conduct a ‘right to rent’ search for your prospective tenants their immigration status.
The legal requirements are met at the beginning of letting students
Like the other things you will need to do a number of other things you’ll need to complete, or give your students with at the beginning of their tenure. This could include, but aren’t restricted to:
Documentation that is relevant, such as evidence of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with the minimum rating of ‘E’ (before the agreement is signed) and an original Gas Safety Certificate (the day they move into) and a student-focused Tenancy agreement that outlines the duties and rights of both the tenant and landlord and a copy of the guide of the government”How to rent”.
* Details on the scheme of tenancy deposit that is approved by the government you’ve selected to keep their deposits into (within 30 days after receiving deposit).
* Specific information on how to use safety equipment inside the premises.
The most current Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) in the event that the property is located in England.
Legal requirements for the student’s property conditions
If you’re a student landlord there are legal requirements you must meet regarding the conditions of your tenant’s home. This includes ensuring:
*The property has been deemed safe to be used by humans.
Each electrical device is safe functioning order, best if they are “PAT-tested”.
* All plugs, sockets etc. conform to UK standards. UK standard.
* Current standards for fire safety and resistance are met with respect to furniture and upholstery you offer
* There aren’t any obstacles in the way of fire escape routes and the property’s manager and students tenants have been informed of the evacuation plan.
• Measures are taken to reduce the risk of fire.
The rental home must be in England rooms that have combustion appliances should be fitted using a carbon monoxide monitoring device.
* There must be one fire alarm (minimum) for each floor of a house that is used to live in. The alarms should be checked at the beginning of the lease and a report made.
Legal requirements for letting students
While letting students to you it is important to:
• Inform the council to indicate that there are students tenants living in your home.
• Consider the cleanliness of your water and check for legionella.
* Repair any property damage that is necessary for structural damage to the structure of the building or water supply and electricity, gas, etc.
Be sure to ensure that you are adhering to the terms of your tenancy agreement.
Check that your property conforms to the legal requirements in the event that it is classified to be an HMO.
The things to be included in the student tenancy agreement
Student tenancy agreements is among of the most essential documents you’ll have to prepare when renting to students. It provides both the landlord’s and students’ rights and any other arrangements that could be made with regard to the lease or rental of the house. Here are some of the most important points to include in your student tenancy agreement
* Important information like that of tenant and landlord and the date when the tenancy began and the address of the property, etc.
• Information on the extent to which all tenants are accountable for the entire rent (this is known as being jointly and severally accountable’), so that when one tenant is unable to pay the rent, all tenants are also responsible. This should be stated clearly in the lease and it’s a good idea to inform the tenants directly.
* Information about the duration of the tenancy, the cost of rent, methods of payment, and the date the time when rent will be evaluated.
The information on the bills, such as whether they’re part of rent, who’s responsible for them, etc. While this is typically the responsibility of the tenant but it’s not unusual to find HMO as well as student landlords to provide all-inclusive leases (rent and charges are part of the monthly installment).
* Deposit information, including the amount due and circumstances that could result in deductions (for example, rent not paid or property damage, and so on. ).
* A detailed summary of the landlord’s and tenant’s obligations.
* Information regarding the guarantors (if relevant).
* Information about the tenant’s notice period, as well as any break clauses , if relevant.
* Specific information on the early end of a lease, including reasons for the termination.
* Confirm whether tenants are permitted to keep pets. If yes, you should think about adding a pet-friendly clause.
* Confirmation of whether or not you consent to subletting.
Student property management
After the important aspects are out of the way and your tenants have relocated and settled in, you’ll have to concentrate on your ongoing managing your student rental property. The experience you have will vary depending on how your property is managed on your own, or use an agent for letting However, here are a few guidelines to help you create your own method to manage a rental property for students.
Student renting – Tips
Communication is the key
It is essential to set your policies clearly in your student tenancy agreement. it’s a good basis for a good landlord-tenant relationship. After this is done and your tenants moving in, you might be able to contact them on a regular basis to allow them to tell you what’s going on and if there are any issues that require to be resolved. Some landlords assign an ‘lead tenant’ that serves as the representative for their property. This is helpful since it avoids the need for multiple conversations and makes it simpler to organize appointments to see the house.
Keep in mind that this will be the first time renting a property.
Many students haven’t previously rented a home – or moved out of their home – take this into consideration when you talk to students. The government’s “How to Rent” guide’ is a great source, however government documents is often intimidating and official. It is worth creating your own list of student-friendly things to be prepared for such as an outline of the different security checks that must be carried out and also make sure to provide the background of any visit at the rental property.
* Never underestimate the value of a great group of students
As we said earlier that the experience of a student landlord is different dependent on the kind of students you’ve got. If you have an excellent group of tenants it is important to keep them.
The typical student degree takes about three to four years to finish, with many students opting to pursue postgraduate education. If you’ve located excellent student tenants who maintain your home in good condition and keep their rent in good standing be sure to retain them!
While you are secure knowing the tenants you employ are trustworthy and trustworthy, renewing a student’s contract also decreases the chance of having a costly period of vacant. Certain students would prefer to remain in their town of study during the summer, therefore the ability to let them stay in the house (or sublet it if they choose to move back to home) for this period can be a great incentive in renewing their lease agreements.
Be aware the fact that communities of students are close-knit and in some universities, housing options are very limited. When your tenant has had great experience, they’re likely refer them to fellow students. This means you might be able to locate the next year’s tenants without needing to market!
* Make sure that you’re covered
It’s vital that landlords have a thorough grasp of the rights of a student tenant It’s equally essential to ensure that you are protected as well as your property. Insurance for landlords who are students is crucial to provide protection that home insurance policies do not provide. This type of insurance for landlords covers a variety of elements like the loss of rent as well as extended absence from the premises.