The rise of the student landlord

If you believe the stereotypes, students and landlords aren't supposed to get along. Tenants who are lax about the washing up and prone to storing the odd traffic cone versus an owner who is not too concerned about decent bathroom and kitchen facilities doesn’t bode well for a solid friendship.

However, what happens when your landlord is actually a fellow student, or you’re letting a property to your university friends? For many student landlords, the arrangement is the ideal way to make an early start on the property ladder and put all that rent money to good use. After all, the typical student house holds five people, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents, whereas the average is two among the young professionals market. Overall, this can mean the chance to pay proportionally more towards a larger mortgage, while policing your tenants and paying your own rent to a good cause at the same time.

Be warned, however: the market is not what it was, and students should be more careful than ever about where they buy. "Changes in the property market mean that buying in cheaper, northern parts of the country is no longer such a good deal," says letting agency Frank Hardy of the National Federation of Residential Landlords. "While low prices might seem attractive, the rental market is stagnating, meaning landlords are having a more difficult time letting. Down south, however, the market is still buoyant."

The prospect also changes based on your personal financial circumstances. "Most students who buy have parents to help them out, either for part or all of the cost," says Hardy, who advises that those fortunate enough to have family offering to front up the money should still consider what their parents might be expecting to gain in terms of profit. "If they're just happy to give you a start on the property ladder that's great," he explains "but if they're expecting to sell at a profit when you graduate then they should look more carefully at the arrangement."

Other students have found that their access to government funding and student loans in the first year has given them just enough to put down a deposit, although experts warn this could be a stretch; particularly in the current climate where the average house price is £200,000, meaning a deposit of £20,000 at the usual 10 per cent rate.

So what about the thorny issue of mixing friends and business by having fellow students as tenants? "Friends make for good first tenants as they are likely to be more sympathetic and patient when you let out a property," says landlord Jason Tanner, who let his first house as a student in 1990. "Having said that, you should still set clear ground rules and take a deposit in the usual way, right from the start. If you are not living at the same address then it's very important to prepare legal tenancy agreements for tenants, whether they are friends or not. There are also important safety laws about getting gas and electrics checked at properties and it's essential that you take out the correct insurance for a let property and are clear from the outset with the lender that you intend to let rooms out."

If you're willing to take on the responsibility, however, working as a landlord while studying can be a valuable way to build your career – even if the profits on property are not as attractive as they were – as employers look very favourably on evidence that graduates are self starters. So, if you've always wanted to own property, investing sooner rather than later could benefit you in more ways than one.

Chris Morris, 25, is a lettings negotiator at real estate agents Savills

Graduate Chris Morris let his first property as a fresher at the University of Glasgow. The 25-year-old went on to build a portfolio of nine properties, which he still manages, while working a day-job with Savills.

"I bought my first flat with some help from my Dad in my first year," says Chris. "It was part of a larger building, and when the basement flat became available in the first year I bought it and put an ad in a local newspaper for tenants."

Encouraged by the numerous responses from the ad, Chris went on to not only let the flat but also buy several others while he was at university. "I properly got the bug for it," he explains. "I was probably spending more time finding properties and looking after them than doing my degree!" On graduation, Chris went on to gain employment with Savills, which he sees as a sensible way to balance the risk of property investment with a steady income, but would recommend his route to any student with the means to invest.

"You get your own place and you can do what you like to it," he explains. "And when you graduate you'll usually have made a profit. It does mean more stress and more things to worry about, but I would say the advantages are well worth it."

Life and Style
Divers at Bouldnor Cliff underwater site in the Solent off the Isle of Wight, where the silt sample containing the einkorn DNA was found
Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Ashdown Group: Graduate Graphic Designer - Peterborough - £18,000

£22000 - £23000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Graduate Graphic Designer...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Cambridgeshire - £23,000

£22000 - £23000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Graduate Front-End Develo...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Trainee Recruitment C...

Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower