Investing in technology could significantly bolster rental income for student landlords, according to a new study from Currys PC World Business.
Wifi is now a staple for students, with 55 per cent expecting to see it in their rental property. 35 per cent felt even more strongly, and would refuse to rent a property that did not have an internet connection. Nearly half of the students surveyed (44 per cent) were willing to pay more for fibre optic or high speed internet in their rental properties.
The demand for decent technology extended beyond the internet and into the kitchen. The research found that most students expected to see appliances such as kettles, toasters and microwaves included in their rent. One in three students confirmed that the lack of a microwave would significantly put them off renting a property. 16 per cent felt that a kitchen without a kettle would be an issue, whilst 14 per cent felt the same about a toaster. Overall, 60 percent of students felt that electricals and kitchen appliances were significant considerations for their renting decision.
Students are well aware that their growing expectations render them ‘high maintenance,’ with 29 per cent confessing that they were demanding as tenants. However, rising tuition fees coupled with rent rises mean that students expect more for their money.
85 per cent of students reported that they were more likely to rent a property if all appliances were new, something supplemented by the fact that 59 per cent felt that they would be unable to afford the costs of furnishing their own properties.
This demand does not wane, with 86 per cent of students saying that they would change rental property at the end of their tenancy if electricals were left unfixed. This suggests that the key to avoiding void periods is to remain on top of maintenance issues.
Head of Business Solutions at Currys PC World Business, Simon Moyle, commented: ‘With well over half a million students in the UK this is a market that represents a huge opportunity for landlords, and one where the right investment can make all the difference. What’s more, research from mortgage lender Paragon found that student properties typically enjoy a yield premium of around 27 per cent over the market average – demonstrating that it can be a hugely profitable area of investment. Crucially, landlords must move with the times; while students may have previously headed off to university with nothing more than clothes and books, technology has become a central part of the student experience, and something that landlords must deliver on if they want to make top dollar in the market.’