Landlord News spoke to Benjamin Hodds, the Managing Director of YourNest to share some of his top tips for investors, specifically in the student property market. This particular sector is known for high yields and high risks and here, Mr Hodds shares his experience of how to be successful in this market:
‘The property market is bouncing back, however we are seeing more and more barriers with taxes taking its toll on the buy to let market. With an increase in stamp duty, property prices back on the up and the ever-increasing costs of owning a buy to let property we must be creative to make our investments more profitable.
YourNest properties are on the forefront of these changes, working with landlords to manage their properties with many landlords requiring support to adapt their nest eggs in order to remain profitable in today’s market.
Student properties are often at risk from long void periods and in today’s market students are becoming more demanding expecting more from their home and with the standard of properties improving the weaker properties are left until the very end of letting season, risking a lengthy void period.
In our opinion we are happy to see landlords improving their homes for students, there are far too many properties unsuitable for tenants and ultimately getting the most from your student property investment really boils down to how much you put into your property.
Investors often fail at the first hurdle and kit out their houses with low quality furnishings as we are as an industry in the mind-set that our properties will need a full over haul at the end of term. Our first piece of advice is to ditch the bargain shopping spree and invest in good quality furniture to limit having to replace this every year. It may seem an expense to start with, but throwing in a £300 faux leather sofa for the year is asking for trouble, invest in quality for those key pieces and save money down the line.
We’re fed up of seeing head to toe IKEA but if carefully selected teaming up some IKEA accessories with a luxury kitchen and finishing touches often does the job.
The cost of living is increasing, however if we take care and improve our ‘product’ we can offer our homes at an increased price resulting in an even higher yield.
How to get the most from your student property investment?
There is tough competition out there with some fantastic properties on the market and you really must stay one step ahead. Students are looking for houses with TV’s, en-suites and trendy furnishings and if yours doesn’t fit the bill there are plenty that will. We really advise our landlords to invest the extra cash and limit the need for a re-haul every year. In our experience tenants respect their surroundings if they are given pleasant surroundings.
We visit a number of properties which just don’t make the cut and in today’s market we advise our landlords to implement specific changes or we kindly decline management. Keeping your tenants happy really is the key to getting the most out of an investment and if tenants are expected to live in anything below standard this is often the reason why our hard earned income is shrinking.
Once your house is up to scratch and we would advise making sure you or your managing agent is visiting every 6 months and inspecting the property, keeping you in the loop with any issues and pre-empting any large costs and protecting your income at the end of their tenancy.
Lastly, our ultimate tip would be to keep your student investment for some time and generate a healthy monthly income as well as that nest egg to release cash and build up your property portfolio.’