Many a landlord has been enticed into the property rental market as they have been attracted to the high rental yields the student market provides.

With limited accommodation in close proximity to Universities and rent paid per room it can certainly be a worth while endeavor, however it is important that some consideration is given to all the costs:

Houses that are rented out in this way need to be brought up to House of Multiple Occupation (HMO)standard if they are not already.

The current definition off a HMO is set out in Article 143 of the Housing (NI) Order2003. This defines a HMO as “ a house occupied by more than two qualifying persons, being persons who are not all members of the same family”.

 Some of the works required to be carried out to a property to get it up to HMO standard for example may be:

  • Providing an adequate fire escape route
  • Supply and fit of a fire alarm to the specified standard
  • Ensuring that all required fire equipment ispresent and has been serviced up to date
  • Doors meet standard for fire safety

A registration fee needs to be paid to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive to register the property for 5 years it starts at £375 for 3 occupants and increases by £125 with the addition of each occupant. These properties may experience higher than normal levels of wear and tear due to increased number of tenants in the property therefore carpet changes and repaints may need to be carried out more frequently than in a residential house. All properties that are heated by gas fired central heating will require a gas safety certificate renewed each year. All properties require an Energy Performance Certificate before they are offered for rent or sale on the market by law these last for 10 years. It is advisable that any HMO property has a void period of a minimum of 5 days to allow for any necessary remedial works required to be carried out in preparation for the new tenants moving in.

In summary becoming a student landlord may be a good move for you if you take into account all the contributing factors some of which have been discussed above, as well as keeping yourself informed of current legislation in regard to HMO, as well as many other legislations that have been brought in recently inthe area of property rentals and what they mean to you, for example:

  • Tenancy Deposit Scheme
  • Landlord Registration Scheme

If in doubt it is advisable to make contact with an estate agent who specialises in student rentals to gain further information and advice on all the requirements for rental.