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Students found to be one of the least desirable tenants

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Students have been found to be some of the least desirable tenants in the UK. 40% of respondents to a TheHouseShop.com survey said they wouldn’t want to rent their house to students in higher education. The only renters found to be more undesirable than students were smokers, with 64%, and people using DSS (i.e. those claiming house benefits) at 44%.

Students have a bad reputation for being difficult tenants, typecast as being very messy and/or irresponsible, especially when it comes to money.

Sarah, 23, had an unpleasant experience with the stereotypical student housemate, showing exactly why people think what they do about them:

“He would leave the kitchen in a mess, littered with empty bottles and pizza boxes and hoard dirty dishes in his room. One time, he couldn’t even be bothered to take the dishes from his room to the kitchen, so he threw them out of the window into our garden! He would smoke in the house and we would find cigarette butts in the bathroom sink.”

But the picture this paints obviously does not represent the whole student population, and in fact having a student tenant might actually be worth the risk.

Nick Marr, co-founder of TheHouseShop.com thinks, that more property-owners should be open to the idea:

“I think that many landlords take a pretty negative view of student tenants, as proved by the results of our survey, but this shouldn’t deter them from taking a serious look at this niche market – they may be surprised by what they find.”

For starters, students have to put down a substantial deposit to secure a property, and that’s money they’re going to want back in their wallets. This gives them a serious incentive to keep the property in good condition until the end of their tenancy.

Not to mention properties that are close to popular universities are always in high demand; the constant turnover of new students keeps the rental market steadily going in these areas. Landlords could take advantage of this high demand and increase rent or keep the rent lower, but also guarantee a steady flow of students in their properties.

International students are potentially lucrative as well, according to Marr:

“The niche market for high-end, luxury rental accommodation, targeted specifically at international students, is booming, and there are very few other sectors where you can find the same levels of consistent demand and high yields. These types of properties tend to appeal to students from the Middle East, the US and Africa, who will happily spend more than £2,000 a week for a rental property during their studies.”

Meanwhile, the average cost of student rents across the UK came to only £373pcm per student in 2015, according to savethestudent.co.uk.

Often international students from outside of the EU come from wealthy backgrounds, paying over double the tuition fees that British students pay with cash left over to rent expensive student flats.

“Shockingly, I recently saw a 3 bed apartment in London listed for rent in a development specifically targeted at international students advertised at £21,000 per month! Although this is an extreme example, there is still serious money to be made in the more realistic, mid-high end market. So landlords take note: don’t dismiss student tenants without giving them a fair shot!” Marr says.

You can view the infographic here.

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