Making the most of a student property over the summer

by Ed Firmin

Posted on Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 at 10:00

For many landlords, the summer period between students is a blessing, it gives them the time they need to undertake any renovations or perhaps a spot of redecorating before the next lot of students descend.

It’s usually no longer than a couple of months, but some may be thinking about opportunities to make money from the property while it’s vacant this will only be possible if your tenants’ have not signed a tenancy agreement for twelve months.

Is it feasible? Is it recommended? And what opportunities are there for landlords if they want to explore this option?

Dependent on the location, there could be the option for holiday letting for a week or two at a time. We’re lucky in Canterbury, in that it’s a hot tourist destination as well as being a university town, so that could be a possibility.

Some landlords may think about renting to contractors who are working in the area, or even professionals who are looking for somewhere to stay during the week if they don’t live close to where they work.

Sites like AirBnB have made it much easier for people to advertise their properties, not just to holidaymakers, but those who are looking for a short-term place to live.

If this sounds appealing to you, then what do you have to think about in order to get this up and running? Well, you’ll need to think of it like you are running a B&B, for example. You’ll need to provide clean linen, tea and coffee, and have the basics in the kitchen so that your guests can cook for themselves. So you may need to think about keeping crockery and cutlery and bed linen separate to any that you may provide for your student tenants.

Be aware of what impact holiday lettings or short-term lettings may have on your insurance and your mortgage requirements. And of course, you’ll have to declare any additional income to the tax man!

Be cautious about promising to rent out the property before you’ve had a chance to look at it. There may be some repairs you didn’t realise you would have to make (although a great letting agent will be on top of this, and will be able to ensure that any repairs are undertaken on an ongoing basis, and will be doing regular checks on the property to ensure it’s being maintained properly!).

So, taking this into account it’s a definite option. A lot of work, perhaps, but if the demand is there (and it would be wise to do some research to see what’s out there currently, so you know what type of returns you are likely to make to see if it’s worth it), then it could be a nice little earner!

If you would like to get in touch to ask some advice on whether this could be something you would like to explore for your property, then you can contact me here.

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