With the recent news that more students entered across UK Universities in 2014 than ever before it is always worth landlords considering the option of student lettings in the current market. Especially in such a city like Cambridge, student lets can provide a secure and financially viable opportunity.
Given the huge demand in the city, rents have been pushed higher with Cambridge now being identified as the most expensive location in the UK for students to live. Many new student apartments are being built to cater to this market, but there is still a great deal of demand for homes converted for multiple residents in the City and further afield. Even smaller properties are often used for student lettings. So how should you go about approaching this market?
First, do your research. What areas are most popular? What type of housing is appropriate? What rent could you expect? What standard of property is required or expected?
Next, consider whether you can make a good return on your investment. Property prices in Cambridge, as we all know, have risen substantially, but there are many locations and investment strategies that can open up opportunities for astute investors. For instance, you could consider properties around the outskirts of the city, with good transport links or even look further afield to other parts of the country such as Peterborough, where there is a substantial student population needing accommodation.
Finding properties where either a quick sale is needed or where refurbishment work will be required can also open up opportunities for investors willing to put in some effort.
If you are new to the student lettings sector, before starting inform yourself about what to expect. Contact local student housing providers or university accommodation offices. Although I’m sure we have all heard horror stories about student’s poor treatment of properties, these are exceptionally rare cases and in general students will look after your property as well as any tenant could be expected to.
Other elements to be aware of include fire and safety regulations, legal requirements for landlords and if undertaking construction work, then building regulations and planning matters.
There are significant advantages to be had from student lets, especially the reliability of secure long ter lets, high and predictable levels of demand and potentially good returns. So, consider these advantages, take advice and get on the property investment ladder!