This September sees new students – from this country and overseas – starting literally thousands of course at more than 120 universities in the UK, according to the website SI-UK. They will be swelling the 2.3 million home and foreign students in the UK – according to estimates compiled by Universities UK.
According to Universities UK’s latest estimates there are nearly 2.3 million students in the UK – 1.7 million of whom are full time, 540,285 part-time and 438,000 are from abroad.
Some of them may be able to continue to live at home whilst pursuing their studies, but for the clear majority, further education is likely to herald a complete change in lifestyle, as they strike out on their own and search for accommodation, single or sharing with new friends and fellow students.
In most instances, of course, that will mean privately renting a flat, a house, or a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) sharing essential facilities with others.
The large student population offers a huge market into which many landlords might want to tap – although some of them, and their insurers, might shy away from the opportunity because of students’ reputation for late-night parties, irregular hours, and financial circumstances which lead to late or missed payments of rent.
Here at UKinsuranceNET we have specialist knowledge and experience in arranging landlords insurance for student tenants – as our article of the 10th of August 2017 helps to explain. So, you might want to bear in mind that not all insurers are prepared to cover what are considered the special and peculiar risks associated with student tenants.
Selecting your student tenants
Recruiting student tenants is likely to follow a similar path to those you might use for any other tenant group:
Type of tenancy
- whether you go it alone or use a letting agent, you are certain to have to provide both character references and credit checks – although specialists in finding let accommodation for students, movem, have introduced an online, verifiable student “passport” which serves as your constantly updated profile and reference;
Types of tenancy
- you need to decide whether the tenancy you offer is a sole tenancy (for a single tenant), a joint tenancy (for those sharing), a lodger’s agreement if the student is sharing a room in your own home, or a special tenancy agreement written for an HMO;
- it is essential that you confirm any tenant is who they say they are, take up character references and carry out credit checks;
- some specialist letting agents for students, such as the company movem have developed a type of verifiable, online “passport” which contains a regularly updated profile and references for the student concerned;
- you are likely to demand a deposit from your student tenants – to cover the risk of breakages and damage that might be caused to the property;
- in which case, remember that any deposit you take in support of an assured shorthold tenancy must be deposited in an approved Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme;
- thanks to the scheme, you also have access to an arbitration service in the event of a dispute with your tenant about the deposit’s return.
Are you ready, waiting and fully prepared for this September’s influx of new and returning students? If so, you might also want to check that your landlords insurance remains appropriate and is fully up to date.