6 Tips for Landlords of Student Accommodation

PUBLISHED 12 JUL 2019   

6 Tips for Landlords of Student Accommodation


The student life in areas close to large educational institutions (such as the University of Pretoria or the University of the Witwatersrand) is booming. For this reason, student accommodation is becoming more and more competitive, and landlords who go the extra mile for their tenants will often reap the most significant rewards.


As a landlord, establishing a good rapport between you and your tenants is vital to not only your tenant’s happiness, but yours as well. Student accommodation presents a very different set of issues to standard flats and houses for rent, as a student will often have a lower price range and particular needs, such as peace and quiet in order to study. If you are thinking of moving into this market or if you already have, below are six tips on how to be a good landlord and keep your tenants happy.


1.    Understand South African Property Law


Getting a degree in law is not necessary, but reading up on South African property law will give you a better understanding of rental housing, as well as a tenant’s rights and obligations. When setting up a lease for a prospective occupant, you can do so in such a way that it is fair and legal, which will ultimately protect both you and your tenants.


2.    Spruce Up the Place


While some property owners don’t put too much effort into their available accommodation, you can make your flat or house more appealing by ensuring that it is well looked after. A fresh paint job, deep cleaning the carpets, and making sure that the place is pest-free are simple ways in which to improve your tenant’s living experience. Make sure that broken appliances and facilities like plumbing and lighting are all fixed before the lodger moves in.


3.    Be Upfront About Possible Problems


Most tenants appreciate openness and honesty from their landlords. While viewing the student accommodation, your prospective renter might have some questions for you, and answering candidly will avoid issues in future. Whether the cellphone reception is inconsistent, the traffic terrible, the neighbourhood noisy, or the crime rate high, be sure to let your occupant know precisely what they can expect along with possible solutions for these issues.


4.     Exercise Flexibility


Working with students requires a degree of flexibility. While repeated late payments and destruction of property is in no way acceptable, most tenants try their best to stick to the lease agreements. Students often have one or more part-time jobs and do what they can to make ends meet, so an open line of communication will afford your tenant the freedom to approach you, should they need an extra day or two to make their payment. In the end, you can draw the line on what you tolerate, but a landlord that displays understanding will more likely see lodgers renewing their accommodation leases.


5.    Respect Your Tenant


While it may be tempting to drop in on your tenants unexpectedly, bear in mind that tenants prefer their space and independence. Should you need to ask a question or see your tenant, simply send them an email or text message asking when an appropriate time would be to meet with them. Showing your renters that you trust them and respect their privacy is one of the easiest ways to keep them happy.


6.    Partner with a Professional Estate Agency


While it is essential to make your lodgers feel welcome and heard, there are a few practical processes that need taking care of too. If you need help with advertising your student accommodation, finding suitable occupants, and advice on setting up a lease agreement, then a reputable estate agency will be able to assist you.


If you would like high returns on your accommodation rentals and help with property management, then we are available to guide you every step of the way.