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Many landlords with properties in university towns choose to take advantage of the student market. Student properties are currently under-supplied, and command strong rents. Students are also less likely to default on payments, and provide added security as they often like to rent the same property for the duration of their studies.
In spite of a supply shortage, however, students are not willing to rent any property going. Students have been becoming increasingly discerning in recent years, and in order to succeed with today's student market a property must be properly prepared to meet their needs.
Provide Appliances and Furnishings
Students naturally will not want to provide their own white goods for what is only a term-time home for the duration of their studies, so it is fully expected that these will be provided by the landlord. Providing other key appliances such as a vacuum cleaner is also strongly advised, and will be appreciated by students. Providing a decent TV in the communal living space is also something that many landlords find worthwhile when trying to ensure that a student property investment is competitive and attractive to tenants.
A similar principle can be applied to furnishings. At least the basics – beds, wardrobes and drawers, seating, and desks – are essential as students will not want to buy bulky, expensive items of furniture for a student let. Any less-essential extras may help give your property an edge over others. While students have a reputation for taking cheap but shabby accommodation, this idea is at best outdated and at worst completely untrue. Quality, modern furnishings will be what students look for when choosing a place to live.
It is entirely reasonable to expect your tenants to arrange their own broadband supplier, but this doesn't mean it is always a good idea. Good broadband is really essential for students – much more than it is for the average tenant – so supplying this with the property as standard can be a good attraction. Indeed, it can easily look like a much bigger boon for students than it really is.
Students both want and need access to decent internet speeds. This is further compounded by the fact that, in an average student house, there are likely to be multiple users on a network at any given time. As such, if you supply a broadband package with the property you should look for a fast, preferably fibre optic package.
Generally, the rule with decorating a rental property is that you should go for neutral colours for the widest possible appeal. With students, however, it is better to go for darker colours. With multiple people in the house, even the least rowdy group of students might leave their share of marks and stains behind. Dark colours make this wear and tear less visible.
You should make similar considerations in your choice of floors. Choosing floors that are easy-to-clean, such as lino, will be a win for everybody. Students – who are often not the biggest fans of housework and may be living away from home for the first time – will benefit from easier maintenance, and you will get floors in your property that are cheap and less likely to be seriously stained or marked.
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