Student HMO’s: What you need to know

If you are a landlord who is considering letting your property to students, then there are some things you need to know – including what student furniture you should provide them with. You will also need to have a thorough understanding of the market, we’ve done the homework for you so that you know the sorts of things you should be taking into consideration when you rent to the student sector.

Why it’s good to let to students

The main reason why letting to students is so popular these days, is that this sector tends to be more profitable than other lets for the following three reasons:

  • Demand for properties in student areas is consistent and strong
  • Letting periods tend to be 12 months or more, and so you won’t have the stress at finding new tenants every few months
  • The student sector is well known within the property industry for offering particularly high yields

 

What furniture should be provided?

As most students expect a property to be fully furnished, they will probably expect to see the following items in a student property:

  • Beds
  • Sofas
  • Dining table
  • Dining chairs
  • Bins
  • Carpets
  • Curtains
  • Cooker
  • Fridge freezer
  • Lawn mower (if you have outdoor space)
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Washing machine

 

Now this list would have used to include a desk and chair for each room, but as we have touched on previously, technology has had a big effect on how students are studying these days. Today students can do their research online from anywhere, they are not tied to a university library or their bedroom. They can chill out in the lounge with Netflix on in the background, and access a limitless mobile library at their fingertips while they write their paper online too, and even connect with their tutor to ask questions along the way.

Students are much less likely to be tied to a single pace nowadays, so placing the right furniture in the right places can really encourage them to collaborate and it can also bring life to previously unused spaces. The furniture you choose for your student property should be versatile so your tenants have the option to reconfigure spaces to suit their needs. Power points are also essential, most students will have a smartphone, tablet and laptop – all of which need charging. Giving them plenty of opportunity to do this will help your property to stand out from the crowd.

When to market your student property

Once you have filled your property with the right student furniture, it is ready to market. Each area of the UK is different, but the general rule of thumb is that students will start to look for property in January ready to move into in July/August of the same year.

How to market your student property

Student properties tend to be marketed in the same way as other types of let – with many agents using Rightmove or Zoopla. You may also want to contact local universities to ensure you are on their approved rentals list, as this will go out to all of their students.

How to ensure your income is protected

Many private landlords are put off from venturing into the student sector, as students don’t tend to have a regular income and have come straight from living with their parents, and so are difficult to get references for in the standard way. The way to get around this is to ask for a guarantor, such as their parents, as they should be able to be referenced and can agree to be liable for the rent owed if the student falls behind on their payments.

Taking into account legislation

As you will be letting to occupants who are sharing your property, and are not a family group, you need to be aware of legislation around Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO). An HMO is a property which contains five or more people who share such facilities as kitchens and bathrooms.

As well as the normal letting legislation, such as gas safety and furniture regulations, you must also ensure:

  • Communal areas are clean and in good repair
  • Electrics are checked every five years
  • There is no overcrowding – you need a separate room for each single person over 21, each couple and every two young people over the age of 10
  • There are adequate cooking and washing facilities
  • Smoke detectors are installed

HMO legislation also covers room size as well, with national minimum room sizes being:

  • Minimum of 4.64 square metres for one person under 10 years
  • Minimum of 6.51 square metres for one person over 10 years
  • Minimum of 10.22 square metres for two people over 10 years
  • If the ceiling height in any room is less than 1.5 metres then it cannot be used towards your minimum room size

 

If you are looking for help with your student or hmo furniture then we are ready to help you. We have expertise in furnishing all types of rental properties and we can advise you on the best steps to take to make your property more attractive to student tenants.

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