PUT STUDY INTO UNI BUY; as Students Prepare to Start University This Month, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Is Offering Advice on Managing a Student Buy-to-Let

Article excerpt

THE growing cost of renting across the UK is putting added pressure on already cashstrapped students.

As a solution, many parents are choosing to buy a property in their son or daughter's university town or city to help alleviate the financial burden on their children. This can prove a good investment, however, RICS warns parents to be wary of the potential pitfalls that can come with student buy-to-lets.

To help maximise your investment Peter Bolton-King, global residential director at RICS, offers his top 10 tips for buying a student let.

1. Research the location. Research into the location and market is essential. Students will want to be close to the university campus with quick access into the town, with certain streets being popular with students. For knowledge on the area and market always consult a local agent for advice.

2. Know what you are buying.

Once you have identified a potential property, look into what you are undertaking. Many old properties could need a lot more than redecorating or a new bathroom. Typical building or structural faults such as dry rot, rising damp and fractured support beams can be extremely costly to repair. A property survey is recommended before buying. These surveys cost approximately pounds 200 to pounds 700.

3. Buy a 'student' property. It is also important to invest in the right type of property for your target market. Remember you are not buying a home for yourself, or even your child who is likely to only use it as a temporary home for two or three years. Consider if the property has adequate bedroom and communal space for students to live and study. Steer away from anything with a large garden and expensive fittings.

4. Furnish accordingly.

Most students will expect the property to be furnished, so remember to set some money aside for furniture as well as decorating. However, all tenants, and particularly students, are unlikely to keep your property immaculate, so do not spend a fortune. Pick carpets that are unlikely to show stains, light colours for walls and sturdy but economical furniture. …