Renting to Students
Renting to students can be a lucrative property investment. Property in the right place and the right price range can be a reliable source of rental income.
However, many potential landlords have some trepidation. Before taking the plunge, here’s what you should know about renting to students.
Things students look for in a rental
One of the most important factors for students is accommodation proximity to campus. The further the rental is from the tertiary institution, the harder it is to fill the rooms.
Easy access to public transport can help, but it all depends on what the property offers.
Safety is a primary concern for both students and their parents or guardians. A well-lit and well-secured property is a must, with additional in-house security important for privacy, especially if the property is large.
Private rooms with shared communal areas are the first choice for most students, especially if the commune is going to house more than four people. It’s also to be considerate.
Students, like any other tenant, want to live in a well-maintained property. Regular inspection and fumigation are important.
The benefits of renting to a student
There is a high demand for student accommodation as most universities don’t have enough of their own accommodation. The high demand makes it easier to fill empty properties.
Students aren’t very fussy about the accommodation, so high-end finishes aren’t always necessary. Safety and affordability are at the top of the list of needs. Additions like the high-speed internet will also add value. Students might even complain less than other tenants.
Students are more focused on studies and their social lives rather than every single part of the property.
Student landlords can also get a higher return on rentals if they are willing to rent rooms out individually.
The high demand makes it easier to fill empty properties.
What to look out for when renting to a student
As most students are young and do not have much experience of living by themselves, their inexperience in maintaining property could cost you as a property owner.
Terms of the lease are also important to consider. Students often go home over the summer holidays and because money is tight, might vacate the property for that period. Make sure you’re clear from the start.
Students can sometimes be loud and noisy. But while they have a reputation for being party animals, that’s a risk all landlords carry. Make sure you clarify the terms in your agreement.
In some cases, students might try to cut costs by having people not listed on the lease agreement living in the property. This can be difficult to monitor, so having a good relationship with your tenant is crucial for managing this.
Student towns in South Africa
In South Africa, there is a lot of opportunities for potential investors to consider the student accommodation market. Here is a list of popular student towns and areas for you to look at:
- Bloemfontein (University of Free State and Central University of Technology)
- Cape Town (CBD) (Cape Peninsula University of Technology)
- Durban and Pietermaritzburg (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
- Grahamstown (Rhodes University)
- Observatory (Cape Peninsula University of Technology)
- Pretoria (UNISA)
- Rondebosch (University of Cape Town)
- Stellenbosch (University of Stellenbosch)
- Tygerberg and Bellville (University of the Western Cape)
While there are many benefits of renting to students, it does carry some risks. Consider all the pros and cons and know what you are letting yourself in for before you take the plunge into student accommodation.