Partners and Suppliers Richard Abbots 04/10/2023

Student Landlords: Give this advice to your tenants to protect your rented property

Richard Abbots, CEO of Inventory Hive, shares advice for student landlords on getting their relationship with new tenants off to the right start, and advice on avoiding common property issues in student lets.

As the new academic year and mass student move-in gets underway, landlords and letting agents can take steps to get their tenant relationships off to the right start – and protect their property in the process. 

The benefits of renting to students are well-documented, shared student properties generally enjoy higher yields than single lets and, if your property is in a university town or city demand is likely to be both high and consistent.  

However, there is  an assumed risk in renting to students, which puts many landlords off. 

Student accommodation is often the first experience of living away from  home for many young people, which can make property owners understandably nervous.  

But, whilst this inexperience can naturally result in a few rental hiccups, students can be great tenants if they’re given clear information on what’s expected of them while living in your property. 

Remember, these students want (NEED) their full tenancy deposit back after they move out. There is a strong incentive for your student tenants to keep that property in good condition – or at the very least to ensure it’s in good condition when they return the keys. 

How to avoid the common property issues in student lets 

We’ve looked at the most common problems arising in  student tenancies and discovered all  can be avoided or minimised with clear advice from the start.

As with so much in the PRS, communication and clear information is key for a successful tenancy with all residents – not just students. 

Don’t wait for something to go wrong, pass on these five tips to your student tenants when they move in on how to keep the property in great shape. 

1) Ventilate 

One of the most common issues in student properties is damp and mildew. As the landlord, you are responsible for making sure your tenants can ventilate and heat the property adequately, but it’s up to them to manage that and ventilate rooms after cooking, washing and airing laundry. If they don’t allow the moist air to dry, the property will become vulnerable to mould. It is also better for the tenants’ health if they follow those guidelines on ventilation. Give them some usable tips on how to prevent damp from occurring. 

2) Keep pests out 

It’s your responsibility as landlord to check the property before your tenants move in to ensure there are no nests, holes or evidence of pests, such as bedbugs or rodents. You should then advise your student residents about the importance of keeping bedding clean, disposing of rubbish properly and regularly  and making sure food scraps are cleared away. Also  spell out any rules on pets from the start 

3) Keep on top of cleaning 

Property cleanliness always tops the list of most common reasons for deposit disputes – not just for students but all tenants. Unsurprisingly, this is slightly more common in student accommodation.

Again, be clear from the onset what standard of cleaning is expected in the property and highlight exactly what this entails. The more detail, the less room for misunderstanding.

Many students may leave the big cleaning until just before check-out, increasing the likelihood of  stubborn stains and dirt that are difficult to remove. To avoid this, introduce interim property inspections and advise your tenants this will happen throughout the tenancy at agreed times. 

4) Refer to the inventory report 

Make the initial inventory report accessible to your student tenants and advise them on the importance of of treating the property with respect.

If any breakages or damage occurs, make sure your tenants have a system for letting you or the letting agent know. If they replace any items or employ any professional cleaning services, they should keep and log receipts and photos for evidence to avoid dispute. 

5) Report issues early 

Research has found that over 40% of private tenants are afraid to report issues to their landlords due to fear of rent increases or eviction – but this helps no-one. If landlords don’t know about the small issues like leaky taps, broken tiles and blocked extractor fans when they occur, they can quickly become more serious, costly and dangerous putting the residents, landlord and property at risk.  

Encourage your student tenants to report problems when they happen. It’s often easier for all parties to use a secure digital platform like Inventory Hive as it removes the fear of reporting issues but keeps all parties informed of the status. 

Learn more at Inventory Hive.