Investing in property is a great way to build equity and build your asset portfolio. The challenging aspects of becoming a homeowner include understanding the homeownership process as well as having an understanding of the type of property you’d like to invest in. One way to invest in property is to invest in student accommodation. The truth is, South Africa has a shortage of student accommodation which is likely to worsen in the future. This shows that there is a significant gap in the property market for student accommodation.
Here’s everything you need to know about investing in a rental property for students:
1. Location, location, location
Location is arguably one of the most important aspects of renting out a rental property to students. Students prefer to live in close proximity to their university or learning institution, meaning you have to factor this in when searching for a property. Most students don’t have cars and depend on public transport to get to places, and they also don’t have much disposable income to travel far, so having accommodation that is close to universities and colleges is ideal for them.
It’s no secret that South Africa isn’t the safest country to live in. It’s for this reason that safety is a top priority for many South African citizens. It goes without saying that students would like to live in a relatively safe area, and their parents and guardians place this at the top of their priority list too.
Make sure you do adequate research about the crime rates in the area and also invest in security measures such as biometric access, alarm systems, neighbourhood patrol, etc.
3. Screening tenants
As a landlord who rents to students, you may be too eager to fill up your rentals and therefore overlook screening your tenants as thoroughly, which could lead to issues down the line. Sometimes, students may apply for accommodation using their own details without a credit history. This can make it difficult to discern whether a tenant will be trustworthy or will default on payments. The solution is for the students’ guardians or parents to be co-signers on the lease, as they’ll most likely be the ones paying.
4. Wi-Fi and internet connection are important
Students need constant access to Wi-Fi and internet connectivity, not only because young people enjoy keeping up with the latest trends on social media, but because completing their studies requires a fast and stable internet connection. Make sure that the area you purchase property in has good internet connectivity. You can check this by visiting various internet service providers online or in person. They will check the level of connectivity in the area you want to purchase in.
5. Enlist a property manager
Dealing with many students can be challenging as a landlord. In addition to this, many people prefer to deal with managing agents as opposed to a landlord. Enlisting an agent will help you with regards to handling queries and complaints, as well as dealing with deposits. It can get overwhelming if you do this yourself, especially if you have other obligations that require your time and attention.
Consider the above tips to make your experience of investing in rental property for students as seamless as possible.