STUDENT ACCOMMODATION INVESTMENT – RESPONSIBILITIES AS AN INVESTOR
Along with education, student accommodation is arguably one of the most important and vital components of a student’s life at university (and freshers week of course). Here at Aspen Woolf, we value both the investor and the student; which is why we only look at property we believe is going to heighten and add value to the student experience.
It is our belief that the investor should also aim to do this and stand out in the property investment market (success is rare without a passion for your work).
So, what should the investor do to meet their responsibilities and fulfil the conventions associated with a good landlord? Take a look below and let us know what you think:
Have the right team on board
It’s essential that the investor does not try to take on everything on their own, as it’s just not possible for one person to spend a sufficient amount of time on every aspect of letting a property.
Therefore, the investor should have a strong team that accommodates for the amount of money, time and resources needed to be spent on a property in order for it to be both a successful business venture and a property that students will be proud to call home (students should have the security and comforts taken care of whilst they have the stresses of studying!)
Ensuring that your team can take care of the legal and handlings of the property is imperative, but our next topic is equally integral to the investor’s reputation, career and responsibilities within the property investment industry.
If internal and/or external issues begin to take place with a property, e.g. plumbing issues, electrical issues, lock on the door stops working, it is the responsibility of the investor to make sure that these issues are resolved to ensure the happiness of the student tenants.
Not to mention that it is very likely to harm your integrity as a competent and trustworthy investor (current tenants are known to give feedback on the level of maintenance and care to prospective tenants).
To avoid this, investors should make sure that they look to handle all serious issues with the property as soon as possible. Perhaps the best thing to do is to employ a property manager. They are not often expensive and provide savings on tax.
Property managers can carry out routine monthly checks, take on board the feedback of tenants and also report anything they believe to be an issue as well; and ultimately see to it that the issues are taken care of and pay the bills with the investor’s approval (as well as prepare monthly and yearly invoices for tenants and all relevant accounts).
Property managers can save the investor precious time and stop them from getting too stressed out to perform their duties and responsibilities adequately by trying to take on too much (or too little)!
Firm but fair
As an investor, it’s important to have satisfied tenants and not do anything untoward to compromise this (for example, attempt to significantly raise the price of rent halfway through the student year due to a a slyly added loophole in the contract).
However, it’s important that the tenants do not take advantage of a fair nature by regularly paying rent late, damaging the house, smoking or owning pets when it’s stated in the contract not to do so, engaging in illegal activity in the house or keeping the neighbours awake with partying.
The investor, in a landlord role, should never allow themselves to be made to feel guilty or cosied up to by the tenants in order to give into their demands or tolerate their unfair behaviour. The investor should make it clear that there will be warnings and possibilities of evictions if the terms of the contract aren’t met; leaving the tenants no room to argue if the terms aren’t met.
Sure, allow your tenants to enjoy themselves and possibly have controlled, organised parties that end at a reasonable time and take neighbouring families into account (preferably informing them with plenty of notice when the event will take place).
However, there’s no reason you should allow your property to be making noises in the market for all the wrong reasons, so being firm with your fairness (and not super-friendly) is significant in properly meeting the responsibilities of a student accommodation investor.
This article was written by Braedon Frank (Aspen Woolf)