December 16, 2015

Buy-to-Let for the Student Market

Student property investment is a huge business. Over the last 3 years, it has become a £2 billion industry in the UK. And with the government having recently lifted the cap on the maximum number of students a university can enroll, this figure is set to rise. In 2015, over 400,000 students were accepted by UCAS onto university degree courses in the UK.

There is also increasing demand for university places from foreign (non-European) students, who tend to be self-financing. This is all good news for buy-to-let property investors looking at the student market.
Do students make good tenants?
So, could students be the ideal tenant for your investment property or are they just too much trouble? We think there is every cause for confidence in letting to the university market.
Students, by definition, are there to study. They’ve come to live in a particular toiwn for a limited amount of time for the sole purpose of obtaining higher education. They are focused on what goes on at uni (although whether they all perform academically is a moot point!), which means they tend to just want a room and an easy life from the landlord. Translate that as ‘the rent gets paid every month without incident’ and you can see the attraction.
Nearly all students are dependent on finance. It is usually the parents who are prepared to step in as guarantors, and they will be very motivated to get their offspring off to a good start in life. The rent money, therefore, is not at risk. 
Students are youngsters – most are straight out of school, with limited life experience and a relatively sheltered upbringing. Are they really going to be hell-bent on petty arguments with an older, wiser person in authority, such as their landlord? Chances are, they will be polite, accommodating and pleasant to deal with.
Finally, one can assume that students must be intelligent people; otherwise they would not have made it to Uni in the first place. This should mean that they are able to articulate concerns with the property in a clear and reasonable way, making it much more straightforward to get things sorted to everyone’s satisfaction.
Where to invest?
Whether your investment is in student accommodation or other segments of the property sector, the same mantra applies: Location, location, location!
If you already live in a student town, you have the edge over other investors who may be new to the area, so use this to your advantage. Really take your time to investigate all possibilities and don’t underestimate the importance of building good contacts with local agents. You may just find a bit of gold.
If you’re not sure about the best location for your student let venture, here’s a list of the top 10 destinations for student accommodation investment opportunities to watch.
Coventry University, University of Warwick, totalling 35,000 students
University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds Trinity University, University of Law, totalling 60,000 students
University of Glasgow, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of the West of Scotland, totalling 54,000 students
Nottingham Trent University and University of Nottingham, totalling 61,000 students
University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University – totalling 44,000 students
University of Leicester, De Montford University, totalling 37,000 students
University of Reading, University of West London – totalling 25,000 students
University of York, York St John University – totalling 21,000 students
University of London, Brunel University, City University London, Imperial College London, Kingston University, London Metropolitan University, Middlesex University, University of East London, University of West London, University of Westminster, London South Bank University, University of the Arts London, London School of Business & Finance and many others - totalling 120,000 students.


University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University – totalling 70,000 students.
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the property market working alongside a selection of companies, including London-based investment experts Prime Centrum, who were consulted over the information contained in this piece.