As a landlord in a student-heavy town, you might be wondering whether to make the switch to offering a student housing solution, if you haven’t made the switch already. With a steady income year on year with sustained demand, it can seem like a no-brainer for university towns, but student lets aren’t stress-free.
From deposit disputes, higher demand for repairs and landlord input, damage risk and rent arrears, several issues can arise and lead to insurance claims. Having a good Student Landlord Insurance Policy in place can provide you with financial protection, but knowing and understanding the most common claims can help you stay one step ahead. Here are five of the most common to get you started.
#1 Deposit Issues
When letting out a student property, or any property for that matter, taking a deposit is usually a way for Landlords to have some level of security for the property. The tenant will have their deposit returned to them upon the completion of their lease providing that the property falls into set guidelines in terms of cleanliness, status and more. For students, this usually means that the property is undamaged, all stuff is removed and cleared, and certain items are still there (e.g., any furniture or pieces the landlord had provided). In some cases, students can find that the landlord has wrongfully kept the deposit or disputes may be raised, which is where insurance claims can come in.
#2 Landlord Negligence
Landlord negligence is a particularly common complaint, especially when that negligence leads to issues with health, safety and the ability to live on the property. Damage left unrepaired or faulty electronics within the property could lead to injury of the tenants and therefore a hefty insurance claim. Similarly, any mould, dirt or other health-related concerns could also lead to a claim.
Students are a unique kind of tenant in a lot of ways, not least because they are often first-time tenants of their own property. Even living with other housemates, they are usually handling living alone for the first time and damage can be an unavoidable part of that experience. Parties and the student lifestyle can also play a part, but sometimes it can be as simple as a cooking accident, struggling with moving their things and other small mistakes. As a landlord, the nature of the damage often doesn’t matter – a claim may still need to be made to get the issue repaired for the next tenant.
#4 Neighbour Complaints
Students can be noisy – it’s just a fact. Whether it’s late-night parties or drinking before they go out, or simply because there are a number of young people living in one building, noise can be a given and for neighbours, this can be distressing. Claims made by the neighbours against you for disruption to their lives could result in compensation, so insurance is a must.
#5 Rent Arrears
Students typically have a lower income than other tenants due to the limits on their loans and grants, which can mean that some or all of the tenants might fall into arrears over the course of the year, particularly towards the end of term times. Setting up alternative payment plans than monthly payments, and having a solid insurance policy in place can protect you in these cases.
For more information about student letting and how you as a landlord can protect yourself and your tenants, we are on hand to help. Simply get in touch with Ashburnham Insurance on FREEPHONE 0800 1696137.