Student Landlords need to understand that students needs are different to other rental groups
Student landlords, like other landlords, have a roll in ensuring that the students’ stay is an enjoyable one, and therefore addressing tenants’ needs is necessary to keeping them happy. As a student tenant myself, there are various criteria that a property needs to meet in order to be viable for rental which may differ in priority to non sutudent tenants.
The most important criteria for student landlords to address is that the property has a clean and comfortable interior. The property will be where students will live and work for the next year or two, so this cannot be overlooked. Of particular importance are communal areas such as the kitchen and the living room, where most of students’ time will be spent in the property. However, students do understand that they are likely to be messy and careless, and as such do not want somewhere where they could be liable for a large payment if anything is damaged in a very well furnished property.
Property location is one of the priorities for students. It is no coincidence that student neighbourhoods exist in student towns, since student tenants want to be near each other and near to university too. Most students do not take a car to university, so being walking distance away from friends and university is crucial. A variety of transport links are also an important component of location, especially for campus universities where the student area may be based away from the town itself. Students are particularly sensitive to location, and are unlikely to look outside of certain neighbourhoods. Therefore, potential student landlords should make sure they research where student neighbourhoods are e.g. Lenton in Nottingham and Fallowfield in Manchester.
Rental prices are also of importance, with most students being on a tight budget. Their budget for rent tends to be within a certain range when searching for properties; many are willing to pay a premium in order to have a clean and comfortable property rather than saving £10 a week for a property which looks like it has not been maintained by the landlord for at least a decade.
However, some factors are less important to students. Outdoor space is unlikely to be of particular importance to students, who tend to be unable to maintain a garden in good condition. Parking spaces are of less importance than to non-student tenants, as a lower proportion of students use cars at university as aforementioned. Finally, student tenants are unlikely to want to personalise the property, as a high percentage of students change property after each year due to a different number of tenants in each year of university. Moreover, allowing the students to personalise the property could lead to a large amount of repairs for student landlords at the end of term!
Sam Dooley 2nd year History student at the University of Nottingham.