I first moved into student accommodation in Nottingham a year ago. I must admit it was a bit daunting at first. A few years back nottingham had a pretty bad reputation for violence in the city centre, and it seems most of the student facilities are central to the city. But Nottingham was still my first choice as it is a really respected university for the course I wanted to study. I have been living in halls for the first year which is really secure and with such a huge number of students there is always someone around even when you are making your way back from the bar late at night. After the first year we get booted out to fend for ourselves though so I need to find some private student accommodation to rent instead. I know my way around pretty well now though, and I have a group of friends I plan to share with so now is the time to start hunting for the perfect pad.There is an area called Lenton which seems like the best bet. This area has loads of older properties that have been converted especially to accommodate students. We are looking for a house with 4 bedrooms and a shared kitchen, bathroom and living room. This is pretty standard in this area so shouldn’t be too hard to come by. Most importantly we are close to the university, the city centre, plenty of bars and shops and the rent isn’t too ridiculous. Good thing about sharing is at least all the other bills like gas and electricity will be split four ways. At the weekend we are going to pop into a couple of letting agencies to see what they have to offer, apparently if you start looking early you can get the best properties at the best price and if you actually go into the office rather than just looking online you have stand a chance of bagging a place before it is even advertised so we are going to try that and see what happens.
Renting your property to students can be quite profitable if done properly. There are, however, lots of considerations to take into account a few decisions to be made.
I assuming you will only be the consideration if your property is within a reasonable distance of a university campus and therefore convenient for students to live in.
Firstly, what is the size of your house? If it is average size (around 3 bedrooms) how many students will you be offering it to? If you have a dining room and a living room, you could potentially let it to 4 or 5 – using the 2 reception rooms as bedrooms, but this would offer no communal living space. You need to consider that they will need a communal eating area but if you could turn your kitchen into a kitchen/diner then you should be ok to let out 5 bedrooms.
If you are letting out your family home (perhaps you are moving on to a new place and want to get some rental income rather than selling the old home?) you need to consider that a 19 year old male student probably won’t want a bedroom decorated with Peppa Pig, so it is often essential to decorate at least to a minimum plain standard (cream walls, hard wearing carpets which aren’t going to show every mark!)
The majority of students will be moving out of their family home for the first time. Therefore it is unlikely that they will have furniture. The bare minimum you would need to provide in order to offer the accommodation as furnished is a bed, desk, wardrobe and chair. Anything else would be at your discretion – it is important to consider that you are unlikely to get an increased rental amount by adding a chest of drawers of bedside table, so if you are having to buy 5 of these (1 for each room) this can be a costly and unnecessary addition.
Another thing to consider is what items you will include in the rental in terms of kitchen equipment. Ideally you would need to provide a washing machine, oven, fridge and freezer (or fridge freezer combined). In my experience it is not necessarily cost effective to provide kitchen equipment. Often students have quite a limited time in properties and equipment always manages to get lost between lettings leaving you with the cost of replacing cutlery, washing up bowls, plates, glasses, mugs etc. This can be quite a costly experience and it may be more appropriate to suggest that the house is furnished with a limited number of essentials but they will have to bring their own pots and pans!
If you are letting your property to students it would be beneficial for you to make use of the clauses in your contract which allow you to visit the property on a regular basis. If this is not possible it is worth considering a management agency to do this for you – ultimately, a family living in a 3 bed rented accommodation are more likely to look after the property than a group of young adults who are living away from home for the first time!
Finally, it is worth considering the length of contract you would like to arrange. Student are likely to want a short term contract with an easy get out clause and possibly not want to pay for summer holidays when they will usually go back home to their family. If you are looking for a long term let rather than sourcing new tenants each 6 months or year, it would be wiser to consider private tenants.
http://www.unipol.org.uk/home - UNIPOL advice on bringing your property up to standard
https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/overview - information about looking after deposits
http://thenottinghamstudent.wordpress.com/ - a nice students blog about student accommodation in nottingham