Letting to students offers endless possibilities

by Sarah Ashcroft

Homeowners could use a lodger agreement to take advantage of the huge student market. According to Jonathan Moore, director of EasyRoommate.co.uk, students can rent a room in private accommodation for nine per cent less than university properties.

"As fees rise, we anticipate that in many university cities – especially London - savvy students and their parents will be looking to save money on costs, and moving into more affordable flatshares," he explained. "This in turn, will boost demand for private accommodation, and will maintain the upwards pressure on rents."

Meanwhile, investors with a larger budget could look to the growing international students market to get returns. Mr Moore suggested that a "niche luxury lettings market" is emerging in many university towns, as well-funded foreign students look for something above the level of standard student accommodation.

Moreover, fears that the rise in tuition fees could hit the buy to let market appear unfounded. Townends reported last week that there was no evidence higher study costs had affected demand for student accommodation.

Caroline Kavanagh, group lettings director of the estate agents, said landlords need to remember that HMO regulations will need to be met when renting a property to students or sharers. In spite of this requirement, people should not be put off as renting to this market can be "very lucrative in terms of yields being achieved", she added.

Iqbal Hussain, property consultant at Knight Knox International, also thinks students are a key market for landlords. He argued that universities simply cannot meet demand by increasing places in halls of residence, which allows landlords to step in to fill the gap.

He also believes that it is important for prospective student landlords to look at the university itself rather than any other factor, such as the quality of the halls of residence. "If the university is going to bring the numbers in, they are going to need accommodation," Mr Hussain added.

  • Landlord and Tenancy News from Lawpack: Solicitor-approved lodger agreement template for getting it in writing when you're renting a room

Published on: November 29, 2011

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