30 Jun

Summer break may cause issues for landlords

Summer break may cause issues for landlords

Many landlords have managed to enjoy strong returns from the competitive student letting market but they should be aware of the risks faced during the long summer break.

Properties in areas with a large student population can attract very profitable rents but inexperienced buy-to-let landlords are reminded to make sure they take steps to prevent any issues arising from the prolonged periods in which houses can be left dormant.

Over the summer holidays, tenants will often return to their parents to enjoy some home cooked meals and catch up on their dirty washing pile. However, this can potential cause problems for landlords.

With a standard tenancy, renters are required to ensure the property is kept clean and tidy - but this is harder to enforce in student let agreements when they leave the property vacant for weeks.

Consider visiting the property

Regular inspections during term times will ensure that tenants are not failing in their responsibilities and they will more likely to keep the property in a good condition. Landlords can also arrange a visit during holiday times to encourage students to have a clean-up before they head home.

Summer may also be the ideal time to carry out some essential repairs as it is likely to be empty but landlords should double-check tenants are not planning to return during the holidays.

Tenants may be pleased if they return to find their 'digs' have undergone a bit of improvement ahead of the start of a new term.

However, the right notice should be given of any plans to enter the property as gaining access without warning is usually not legal unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Risk of empty properties

Student areas are well known by unscrupulous people to be empty over the summer holidays and therefore could be a hotspot for potential crime.

Burglars may target properties which are clearly empty - especially if they suspect there may be expensive goods on the property that may have been left behind by students- such as computers or televisions.

Therefore, landlords may want to advise tenants to ensure they take valuables home over the break and that they have valid contents insurance in place in case the property is broken into.

To keep current and prospective tenants happy it may be worth landlords investing in anti-burglary devices such as security lights and alarms. This could make the property instantly less attractive to criminals and could make the home more appealing to security-conscious renters.

Summer letting alternatives?

Of course, tenants may be moving on at the end of the summer term but landlords may be able to boost their returns by taking advantage of the growing demand for short-term or holiday lets.

People may be willing to look at renting properties that are in central areas during the weeks of summer either for a holiday or business reasons. Many universities and colleges run special courses for international students over the summer and they are also likely to be looking for someone to stay while studying.ADNFCR-1222-ID-801731964-ADNFCR

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