More and more people are starting to tap into the lucrative student accommodation property market in the UK. Many people are actually buying such properties to invest for their retirement as an alternative to traditional private pensions. This is because income from monthly rent on student accommodation can exceed the return rate on low risk, managed stocks and shares investment portfolios.
One great thing about owning a student property is that you are almost guaranteed to fill all spaces with tenants and the chances of tenants occurring rent arrears is very low. This is explained by the fact that all students in the UK are entitled to maintenance loans from the government to help cover their living costs while they are at university. In addition, when renting to students, you can request that rent is paid in full before a university term begins. Opting to buy student accommodation really is one of the safest property investment strategies.
Keep in mind that while you should never have any problems collecting rent form students, you may have some property maintenance issues. You might want to outsource the letting and maintenance to a specialist property management company that has experience dealing with students. These companies charge students large deposits which they don’t get back unless they leave a property in the same condition it was in when they first arrived to collect the keys.
There are dozens of university cities in the UK, so it should not take you long to find some suitable student accommodation investment properties. Perhaps one of the best ways to make a great return on your investment is to convert large town houses into specialized student accommodation. You can often convert a large townhouse into 8 or 9 studios, allowing you to maximize your monthly rental income. Just make sure you secure the relevant planning permission before you start work.
If you are not sure where to start when it comes to buying student accommodation as a long-term investment, you should know that there are lots of great online platforms where you can connect with existing investors and learn some top tips and tricks from the industry. You can also use the web to advertise rooms to new and returning students.
Many investors have discovered that they can make more money by renting to international students, so you might want to consider advertising your property abroad to students who are planning to come to the UK to complete their degrees. That said, you need to ensure they have funds to cover their rent before they arrive as students outside the EU won’t have access to government-backed loans and grants to cover their accommodation costs. This means renting to international students can be a slightly more high risk strategy.
On a final note, many people who buy student accommodation worry about finding tenants during the summer months, but this is generally not a problem. In fact, many property owners make extra money during the summer months by advertising their properties on short-term holiday letting websites. In peak seasons, self-catering properties in popular UK tourist cities can bring in more than £1000 a week.