I’ve always been flirting with the idea of investing in a buy to let property - as mentioned before on this blog. But I am still unsure as to the type of tenant I would want to attract - whether student, family, or young professional. It’s a difficult decision for any would-be landlord as your choice will inform virtually everything about the property you want to buy.
Location, size, access to local amenities - they will all have an impact on the type of tenant you want to attract. With this in mind, I thought I would go through a few things you need to consider before choosing the right property and finding the right tenants for a new buy to let.
Young couples tend to be professional workers with plenty of disposable income; therefore, able to pay their dues on time, every month. This type of tenant tends to like living in bustling areas with access to shops, nightlife, and transport, and amongst similar young professionals. Are they the best type of tenants out there? Well, they are certainly amongst the higher echelons, but far from perfect. Young couples tend to move - a lot - before eventually deciding to buy a home or, perhaps, ending their relationship. So, while young couples are desirable and safe, you will need to bear in mind that there might be a lot of work involved in marketing and renovating your property every six months or so.
Seniors and pensioners
Seniors and retirees - whether single or couples - tend to be excellent tenants that cause little trouble to landlords. They just want a simple life for the most part, and are accommodating and respectful to the house. However, it’s important to understand that pension payments can vary wildly, and there is a chance that a senior citizen could start to struggle financially.
Students are a difficult one for landlords. On the one hand, you can make a fortune, and plenty of owners cram as many students as possible into their properties, dividing large bedrooms into two - or maybe three. But there is a lot of stress involved, too. You will find that student accommodation furniture needs replacing and there will be a lot of cleaning involved at the end of a tenancy. And you also have to ensure you cover your mortgage payments during holiday periods. Plus, of course, all students are short-term solutions. Few will remain in the same house for the entire duration of their course.
In my opinion, families are the perfect tenant. They are looking for stability, so could end up becoming a long-term resident. And, despite the mess that kids can make, will try and keep the house in good order. If you plan to rent your property to families, location is critical. You’ll need to find a place that has access to amenities and activities for kids, as well as being close to a good primary school. It should be safe, too, with a low crime rate and little sign of vandalism or dangerous hotspots. While investing in this type of property will cost you more than, say, a house in a student area, it can be a far safer bet that requires a lot less work.