What should landlords know about renting to students?

If your property is within university commuting distance, you may be looking at the lucrative market of renting to students. If so, here are a number of things to consider:

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Tenancy contracts

You will need an agreement with your tenants to outline the guidelines and rules. Usually, a student house has a number of people and the agreement can be signed for the whole house by a number of people.

Each tenant is responsible for paying their share of the rent and bills. If one tenant falls behind, the group as a whole is responsible. Additionally, it is common that the group should find another tenant to cover the cost of the rent if one tenant leaves.

A household inventory should form part of the agreement, and it is advisable to use Property Inventory Software available through Inventory Base and other providers. Property inventory software assists you in logging every item in the house.

Council tax

Students are exempt from paying this. It is their responsibility to get an exemption certificate from the council by proving their status.

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Insurance

Your landlord insurance must state that you are renting to students. In the case of a claim, it is imperative that your insurance company has the full details.

HMOs

Student houses are usually classed as houses of multiple occupation (HMOs), which is defined as a house of at least three people who are not from the same household. As stated in the Telegraph, there are certain standards and obligations to be met.

Furnishings

As students are transient, it is usual that furnished accommodation is provided. Make sure that the house is set up ready for occupation, with beds, desks and a dining and lounge area available upon their arrival. Again, this is where property inventory software is useful.

Items that each tenant may need access to, such as the fuse box or internet, should be located in a communal area.

Antisocial behaviour

As a landlord, you are responsible for the behaviour of the tenants. If they are causing problems in the community, you have a duty to contact them.

Standard landlord responsibilities

Just like being a landlord to private individuals, you have the responsibility for ensuring that gas and fire regulations are abided by and that the deposit regulation rules are followed.

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