So, you’re in charge of a number of properties privately rented by students? Well, as in charge as you can be, anyway. This is part of the problem of managing not just student properties, but any house, flat or apartment that’s let.
Of course, when it comes to students, they can be, well, student-y. This means not usually being fully accustomed to living away from parents or carers, and having a tendency to enjoy the experience, sometimes a little too much. (A statistic that may strike fear in you is that just shy of 4-in-5 students believe getting drunk goes hand-in-hand with student life!)
Nonetheless, there are certain things you can do to protect your investment, every September until graduation – here are some useful tips to take note of.
It’s their home, but it’s your business
Especially if you are a new landlord, you could feel inclined to give your first tenants a little too much leeway. The buoyancy of seeing that first tenancy contract signed, not to mention the joy on the faces of your first residents, can compromise the way rules are set – even if they are occasionally broken.
So, the best way to remember that you’re effectively running a business is to look at the statistics. Transaction values in UK student housing are set to exceed £7.5 billion this year – and you’re part of this. In it to make money, not to let students have fun at your expense.
Don’t give them a problem
The above said, the stereotype of the hedonistic student is getting somewhat dated now. In fact, it’s almost as though the current generation of students grew up horrified by what their older peers did in the ’90s and ’00s, and decided to tone it down a little!
So, you’re not only morally but also legally obliged to provide them with some key facets of student life and ensure they’re well maintained at all times. This means a regularly serviced, and certified ‘safe’ boiler, and ensuring that every item on their inventory is accounted for – even if the odd thing might go missing over the next 9 months.
Have the right assistance on hand
As with any other property, sometimes you’ll simply need to undertake repairs at your rented student accommodation, too. For this reason, it’s worthwhile to have a few reliable local contractors in your contact list at all times.
One of those contractors certainly needs to be a Gas Safe registered plumber and central heating expert, while a handyman or woman would also be a reassuringly useful contact to have close at hand. Also, you may need tradespeople for windows and doors as well as your roof. Alternatively, you could turn to a multi-disciplined trade company like Findley Roofing & Building, which sends roofers to Darlington, Newcastle, Hartlepool and over parts of the North East.
Don’t be a stranger
Finally, a great tip for managing not just your property, but also the people who temporarily reside within it, is to get to know them. Without resorting to random spot-checks on what they’re up to, you could still meet and greet them when they move in, schedule the occasional visit or even treat your new tenants to a drink to celebrate their arrival.
Alongside just being generally nice, this lets these burgeoning youngsters see the face behind the walls, floors and ceilings they’re now responsible for. This way, you deliver a simple message that it’s not just their home for the next few months and years, but yours as well. While accidents may still happen (as accidents tend to do), you’ll at least command a little more respect from day 1… of many!