The current academic year is just a couple of weeks old, so the last thing on your mind is likely what will happen next year. It’s never too early to start planning, especially when it comes to a rent review. Staying on top of what you should be charging for rent is an ongoing issue. Inflation is one issue, but so is deflation and moving with the times. When conducting a rent review, be sure you are not charging too much or too little.
Are Your Current Tenants Staying?
The procedure for ongoing tenants and for new tenants will differ slightly. Ideally, the student tenant will expect to pay the same amount of rent in this academic year than the last. If they are moving out after the present academic year, you will not need to worry about this. However, students who wish to stay will look to negotiate. As students on a limited budget, they will look to get the best deal they can. They will not necessarily want to move, but asking for too high a rent increase will encourage them to look for another deal.
Look at the State of the Market
You can obtain information on local rent trends from many sources. Trade magazines and landlord groups are a good start, as is the Pads for Students landlord database. The key is acquiring as much information as possible to help you make the right decision. No doubt, you are in contact with other landlords; how much are they charging? The key here is not to undercut the opposition but to understand their experiences in order to make a better decision for your business interests.
Is Your Property Worth X Amount of Rent?
The way most landlords and other property owners handle a rent review is to ask themselves “how much more can I charge next year than this year?” Inflation is a given in most areas of our lives, but for rent, you also need to consider whether what was appropriate last year will be too high next year. It isn’t just about the increase in available housing stock either. If your property lacks mod cons that other properties now have, you will simply not be able to charge as much as the properties that have recently had a revamp.
Never Stop Reviewing
You’re unlikely to have any enquiries about your property for the next academic year until January at the earliest, though the end of March and early April heading into the Easter break is much more typical. If you find the spring is proceeding into summer with little interest or prospective student tenants rejecting your accommodation in favour of others, it may be time to look at the rent again. Perhaps you are charging too much. Perhaps the problem isn’t the rent, but the other elements (it lacks aspects and features that other properties offer).