This week we’ve partnered with Jessie Sparks to look at the best advice for landlords looking to renovate their student lets.
One of the issues facing any landlord is the renovation and maintenance of a property.
There is a fine balance to be found between spending too little money and doing a substandard job or letting a design idea run away with you and going over what is financially viable for a rented property.
In the first instance, it is good to have a vision of what is required and a landlord with multiple properties will already have fine-tuned the process to be cost-effective as well as efficient. However, the process by which you renovate a student let may well be different from a standard home, or even an HMO.
The Negotiator reveals that the market for student accommodation has swollen massively since the government abolished controls on the number of students in the UK, and that has led to a lucrative market developing for accommodation.
However, students are very different from your usual tenants, they’re young people living away from home for the first time and may show a little less care towards your property. That means extra considerations for you as a landlord.
So we’ve got a few tips to consider when renovating a student let for the first time.
Tiles Are King
Tiles are certainly your friend as a landlord in a student let. They’re much easier to clean than a wall and in areas of high moisture, they’re another barrier between the wall and dreaded mould growth.
You can help the longevity of your property by making sure you use slightly darker colours and grout too; white tiles and grout fade quicker and may not look as appealing when the next year’s intake of students come to look around.
Spending More to Save
NI Direct confirms that as a landlord you will usually be responsible for anything that requires repair, such as the heating, hot water and sanitary installations. This means installing cheaper taps or toilet cisterns in a property could eventually be a false economy.
Kitchen taps are certainly likely to get much more use than a standard let and unless you have rooms with ensuite facilities, the same goes for shared bathrooms. Spending a bit more on taps in the short term might save you over the course of a couple of years, so go for durability, not simply the cheapest you can find.
Where to be Thrifty
Not every aspect of the renovation needs to have more money spent on it. Furnishings are one example of an area where it really isn’t wise to spend a lot of money. Students won’t be letting your property because they like the sofa or the table – they’ll want services such as broadband instead.
Furnish on a budget and expect to replace items like mattresses on a regular basis. This is unavoidable and therefore spending a lot of money on such items will only lead to disappointment for you.
As with any renovation, some level of aftercare is highly recommended. This can consist of several steps, but regular agreed visits are certainly a good idea. You can check on the condition of the let, but also identify any problems such as small leaks before they become much more serious.
Some form of additional protection might be a good idea, too. HomeServe recommends insuring your property’s boiler and plumbing installations to protect against repair costs further down the line. A student let is meant to be an investment for you, but costly repairs can eat into any profit you hope to make, so be prepared.
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