Buy-to-let investors are missing out on lucrative income from student rentals because they do not have their properties ready early enough warns property investment firm Grant Property.
While students are gearing up for the start 2015/16 academic year, investors should be buying up now in order to make the most of the 2016/17 intake.
With students starting to look for accommodation as early as December for the following September properties need to be ready to market by the turn of the year. Many investors are not taking into account time needed to secure HMO licenses which can take up to six months to come through, depending on the individual local authority.
Michelle Grant (pictured), investment director at Grant Property, says: “The highest yields in student rental are achieved in the HMO sector but, conversely, it also has a higher level of regulation which can put off potential investors if they don’t know how the licensing system works.
“We believe regulation is a good thing. It improves the safety levels for tenants and gives peace of mind to investors. Rather than be deterred by this, investors should work with experienced partners who can guide them through the regulatory maze.”
The student rental market is buoyant and Grant Property currently has 100 per cent occupancy in Edinburgh, one of its leading student markets. Demand continues to outstrip supply offering a golden opportunity for investors who have planned ahead.
“Timing is everything when it comes to the pre-let season. Every investor wants a pipeline of tenants secured to avoid void periods but you can’t leave it too late to buy.
“Our best advice is to snap up good properties now, progress with the necessary licensing requirements and, in the meantime, maximise return on your investment by renting to a single occupant or two people to give you short term rental income.”