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Thursday, November 10, 2016

How landlords should furnish a student property

Letting a property to students is a lucrative business. In order to stand out in a crowded market, landlords need to consider a property’s location, condition, the number of bedrooms and how it is furnished. Whilst there is often little you can do to tackle the other factors, how your student property is furnished is a matter that you can very much take into your own hands.

The benefits to furnishing your property

There is a debate as to whether furnishing your student property is a good move or not. Of course the choice is yours, but consider the following; the vast majority of students are leaving their family home for the first time, thus, it is unlikely that they will have accumulated furniture to bring with them. Also, with expenses such tuition fees and living costs – not to mention takeaways and nights out – students,or perhaps their parents, will be grateful that furniture costs will not be an issue.

If you’re still reading this piece, it’s fair to assume that you agree student properties should come furnished. So, without further ado, let’s delve into some student property furnishing advice.

Things to remember, things to purchase

Although you might think it vital to source fridges, beds or sofas first – think again – it is WIFI connections and plug sockets that the modern student is most concerned with. To stand out from other houses, ensure that you have ample connections and if you really want to go the extra mile, pre-installed high-speed WIFI will ‘wow’ many a prospective tenant.

After these 21st Century essentials have been taken care of, seriously consider the following items. That’s because according to Your Move, they are the things students expect the most when they move into a furnished property.

  • Washing machine
  • Fridge freezer
  • Cooker
  • Carpets/curtains/lampshades
  • Beds
  • Wardrobes
  • Desk and chair for each room
  • Sofa
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Lawn mower
  • Bins

Where to purchase from, what style to look for

Advice from a bygone age would be to strip everything right back to basics – surely part of being a student is living in squalor, no?

Think again. With tuition fees now at £9k per term, the modern-day student’s mindset sees them thinking in very much the same way as young professionals renting from private landlords.  They want comfort, contemporary style and all mod cons too.

Luckily, there are online furniture shops where you can source stylish and durable purpose-built furnishing. Better still, they can be easily delivered to your property – saving you both time and money.

Hints and Tips

Focus on amenity spaces

University life revolves around making new connections and collaboratively acquiring new skills. That’s why, if you create an amenity space in your accommodation that lends itself well to both socialising and learning, it won’t take you many viewings to secure tenants at all.

Forward-thinking student landlords have gotten to grips with the current trend for social facilitation; a theory that suggests people perform tasks better when in the presence of others. With the ever increasing prominence and acceptance of this theory amongst students, it’s a wise landlord who pays special attention to common areas.

A perfect environment will strike a balance between communal relaxation and group study, as shown in the picture below.

Colours matter

Design psychology has long understood the effect certain colours have on the mood and ambience of a room. Below are some pointers to consider when deciding on colours schemes for each room.

  • Blue - a productive colour that encourages and a working environment.
  • Green - conjures feelings of health and tranquility, best used in bedrooms.
  • Lavender - a calming, relaxing colour that adds a sense of homeliness to living areas.
  • Yellow - a spritely, fun colour that gives energy to a room, great for kitchens or for those trying to achieve a funky amenity space.
Seek protection

Students suffer from a maligned reputation, and one that actually misrepresents the modern student. Instead of the lairy, beer-swilling caricature some still see, today’s student is a lot more well-rounded and study-focused. However, it’s still natural that properties lent to students do tend to suffer more wear and tear.

To get around this, ensure the furniture you purchase is from a trusted manufacturer that can produce positive testimonials.

Even more importantly, a landlord must ensure that they are protected when it comes to Health and Safety laws. As well as being equipped with a fire extinguisher and smoke alarms, you must also ensure that your furniture is certified safe too.

We hope this article has left you feeling better prepared and ready to furnish a modern day student property, if nothing else, remember WIFI is a must.

This article has been written by Student Furniture, an online furniture shop that source and deliver durable, stylish furniture that has been designed especially with the student market in mind.

Should you become a student landlord?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A decade as a student landlord has changed my understanding of my role from imagining I was a home-maker, to knowing I'm a zookeeper. They're in a different place: excited and scared about being away from home, laser focused on socialising (and the better ones, studying), need wifi more than most of us need water, forgetful, clumsy, oblivious to frills. They want warm, dry, functional, utilitarian surroundings that they can pay no attention whatsoever to (but will moan about if they're not there). I've learned to provide minimal but mid-quality (cheapest nearly always means far more maintenance), as-near-as-dammit unbreakable facilities (e.g. institutional quality fixtures and fittings), automate everything possible (e.g. pre-programmed heating to which their only access is a timed booster button; PIR hallway lights; humidistat bathroom and kitchen fans), respond rapidly to keep everything working (replacing breakages with where possible with something more robust), and invest an unintuitively large proportion of income to keep it all up to date. Penny pinching is false economy and will come back to haunt you. Here lies the path to minimising headaches and maximising yield.