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The Complete Guide to Letting Your Property as Student Accommodation in Bristol

Feb 20th 2023

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If you’re a landlord in Bristol looking to rent to Bristol students, you’re in luck. With the University of Bristol and other higher education institutions in the city, there is a high demand for student houses in Bristol. But how can you make the most of this market?

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about letting your property as student accommodation in Bristol, from finding a student letting agent specialising in student rentals to preparing your property for tenants, to maintaining the house or flat once your new tenants are settled.

1. Find a Student Letting Agent Specialising in Student Rentals in Bristol

A wise first step in letting your property to students is finding the right student letting agent in Bristol. While becoming a private landlord is an option, by using an agent you will have the benefit of a professional’s specialist knowledge of the lettings industry.

This means you are more likely to get a good set of tenants within your desired time frame, and less likely to accidentally fall foul of letting regulations, which could get you into trouble.

A good letting agent specialising in student rentals will help you navigate the complex world of student lettings, from finding tenants to handling maintenance requests. When looking for a student letting agent in Bristol, consider the following factors:

  • Experience: Look for a letting agent with experience in the student rental market, especially in Bristol. They should be familiar with the unique challenges and opportunities of letting to Bristol students.
  • Local Knowledge: A letting agent with local knowledge of Bristol will be better equipped to market your property to students and find tenants quickly. A local letting business rather than a large chain may be preferred for this reason.
  • Services: Make sure the letting agent you choose offers a full range of services, including marketing, tenant screening, rent collection, and maintenance.

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2. Prepare Your Property for Bristol Student Tenants

Once you’ve found a student letting agent specialising in student rentals in Bristol, it’s time to prepare your property for Bristol student tenants. Here are some things to consider:

  • Furniture: Most Bristol students will be looking for furnished accommodation. Make sure your property is fully furnished with beds, desks, chairs, and other essentials. If you’re considering a more thorough refurbishment, think about hardy materials and carpets which will be easy to clean.
  • Outside: If your property has a garden or other outside area, consider how you can make this easiest to maintain – students are unlikely to spend a lot of time on garden maintenance no one will be happy with an overgrown mess at the end of the year. Think about replacing lawns with gravel, paving, or faux grass, or at least providing a lawnmower with clear instructions.
  • Safety: Safety is a top priority for Bristol student tenants. Make sure your property has working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and that all electrical appliances are in good working order. If you have a gas stove, it may also be a good idea to switch this for an electric appliance, as these are less risky to operate for young adults. You should also consider installing locks on bedroom doors.
  • Cleaning: Your property should be thoroughly cleaned before tenants move in. Consider hiring a professional cleaning service to ensure that everything is spotless.

3. Market Your Property to Bristol Students

With your property ready to rent, it’s time to market it to Bristol students. Your student letting agent specialising in student rentals in Bristol should be able to handle much of the marketing for you, but here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Use Online Listings: Make sure your property is listed on popular online rental platforms like Rightmove and Zoopla. These websites are where most Bristol students will start their search for accommodation.
  • Highlight the Property’s Features: Make sure your listing highlights the features that are most important to Bristol student tenants, such as proximity to public transport, local amenities, and the University of Bristol or UWE campus.
  • Use High-Quality Photos: High-quality photos are essential for attracting tenants. Make sure your listing includes plenty of photos that show your property in the best possible light. It can also be a good idea to include a video tour or accurate floor plan in your listing for additional information.

4. Preparing for Tenancy

If you have used a “tenant find” only lettings service or decided to go entirely private, you may have some preparation work to do for the student tenancy in terms of agreements, expectations, and legal matters. This is both to protect you from unexpected costs and to reduce the risk to your property.

Some of these include:

  • Asking for Guarantors: Although they may have maintenance loans or part time work, many students are not in a secure financial situation. If this is the case for any of your tenants, and you are worried about costs going unpaid, a good option is to request a guarantor to be liable for any costs owed. This can be done through the tenancy agreement itself or a Deed of Guarantee.
  • HMO paperwork and requirements: If you’re renting to three or more tenants from different households, or have a property in Brislington or Bedminster, you may require an HMO licence. Find out more here.
  • Insurance matters: If you have an existing landlord insurance policy for non-student lets, you may need an amended or new policy to cover your student property. If this is your first time buying landlord insurance, ensure you mention you are planning to let to students.
  • Asking for Evidence: Under right to rent rules, you are obligated to check the immigration status of your tenants (this can usually be done simply through visas or passports). Keeping a copy of evidence that your tenants are students (such as a council tax exemption certificate) can also protect you in the event of future Council Tax investigations.
  • Checking In: You can create a check in report before your new tenants move in, but it can be a good idea to go through the property inventory with your tenants on their move in day. This also gives you the chance to get the report signed by all parties, answer any questions, and re-affirm any expectations in terms of property maintenance. Make sure you also take clear, time-stamped photos showing the state of property at the start of the tenancy.

If you’ve used a more complete or fully managed lettings service, your agents are likely to take care of most of these matters on your behalf.

5. Manage Your Bristol Student Tenants

Once you’ve found tenants for your student property in Bristol and they’re all moved in, it’s time to manage them. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Once you’ve found tenants for your student property in Bristol and they’re all moved in, it’s time to manage them. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Communication: Communication is key when managing Bristol student tenants. Make sure you’re available to answer any questions or concerns they may have and respond to maintenance requests promptly.
  • Rent Collection: Make sure you have a clear rent collection policy in place, and that your Bristol student tenants are aware of it. Consider using online rent collection tools to make the process easier for everyone.
  • Regular Inspections: Regular inspections are essential for ensuring that your property is being well-maintained. Make sure you schedule inspections with your Bristol student tenants on a regular basis.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, letting your property as student accommodation in Bristol can be a great investment opportunity, especially if you work with a student letting agent specialising in student rentals.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, from finding the right letting agent to preparing your property for tenants and managing them effectively, you can attract and retain high-quality Bristol student tenants while generating a steady rental income.

Remember to stay up-to-date with local regulations and market trends, and don’t hesitate to seek professional advice when needed. With the right approach and a little bit of effort, letting your property to Bristol students can be a smart and rewarding investment.

 

Let’s Rent are a local, family-run lettings agent in Bristol with years of experience in letting properties to students. Learn more about our HMO service and how we can help you have the best possible experience of letting your property.

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Jacqueline Graham said:
Re: Usman Ayub – Lets Rent Letting & Management Prior to meeting Usman, the experience in trying to rent property in Bristol for over 6 months was demoralising. A Let's Rent representative (Seb) contacted me by phone to say they'd managed to alter a few appointments for the viewing & I would be me by Usman. He was punctual & informative throughout prior to our entrance to the building. He informed me of the layout, security & access which therefore covered all the H&S criteria in case there was an issue. Once the viewing was over, Usman assured me that he will send over the documents via email for me to complete, which was actioned without delay. Throughout the legal itinerary & required information, he kept me informed which enabled me to clear up some issues the automated system rejected unbeknownst to me. Usman is a valid member of the team and the functionality of this business benefits with him as a valid member.
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