Buying property and renting it out to students is proving profitable for landlords in Scotland as demand is high and rents stable, according to letting agents.
Research from Lettingweb.com shows that demand from students is high and contrary to popular opinion students generally make excellent tenants.
‘The lettings market in Scotland has seen rental values decline somewhat during the first half of this year. High stock levels have forced landlords to reduce their expectations without the reward of securing a faster let. Demand for student flats, on the other hand, always seems to outstrip supply,’ said Richard Matthews, marketing manager.
He explained that properties close to university campuses and near attractions such as night clubs and pubs are easy to let. ‘In Glasgow, the highest demand for student flats is, as expected, in the city centre and West End. Generally students will aim to be as close to their campus as possible,’ said Matthews.
Gone are the days when students were rowdy and got behind with their payments. ‘As rents are more often than not now being guaranteed by parents, the standard of student flats nowadays is very high. The stereotype for students is mostly gone as they want to rent something of good quality,’ added Matthews.
In Edinburgh all the student properties for the new academic year were rented out before the start of the summer. ‘We could easily have let many, many more if we had them on our books. We don’t even put a waiting list up for properties because the response is so immense every year. There are some students who will start to ask in January about properties for their next academic year as they are desperate to get a good home in a desirable location in the city,’ said Colette Murphy, director at Braemore Property Management.
‘We’ve seen rent falls across other parts of the rental market in recent months as there has been greater competition among landlords for tenants. However, student flats are definitely proving the exception to the rule, as these tenants are happy to pay a higher rent to secure a good property,’ she added.
The company reckons that if you have a property in an area close to the university such as Newington, the Southside or Marchmont then it will prove popular with the student market. A three or four bedroom flat or house is renting for between £325 and £450 per double room per month depending on the quality of the property and its location.