It’s essential to be clear on how to navigate through the Dos and Don’ts of student accommodation to avoid common pitfalls and generate the very best returns possible.
When you clearly understand your own goals, capabilities and risk appetite you will be able to say no to the wrong deals and yes to the right ones. This is especially true for newer investors.
Know Your Market
You can buy the best student property in the world, but if it’s in an area not favoured by students you may well struggle to let it. The insight of those with local knowledge is essential.
Understand Price Versus Value
Don’t overpay, but remember it’s better to pay the going rate for a great property than to get a bad one on the cheap. Many investors turn quality deals down because they aren’t enough of a ‘bargain’ only to regret it years later when the property has gained significant value. Good student accommodation is very rarely available ‘below market value’.
Do The Maths
It’s critical to grasp what a property will truly cost to buy over and above the purchase price, how much you will realistically have to spend to renovate it to a sufficient standard, and what income you’ll actually receive after tax and all running costs. Sadly, some vendors and/or agents misrepresent the true income and expenditure, or balk at the request to disclose all the relevant numbers. If they do, it’s probably because they’re trying to hide something.
Comply Or Die
Every student HMO must meet minimum safety and amenity standards and have the correct planning permission and licences in place. Without this, you can’t legally let it out, and could be liable to very hefty fines for non-compliance.
Invest In Your Customer’s Happiness
Students want high-quality well-equipped places to live. Failure to provide this will lower the rent you’ll be able to charge, and increase your maintenance bills. They also greatly value quick responses when they report issues with their accommodation. If they get this from you, expect your reputation to benefit from word of mouth recommendations.
Without the time and expertise to market and manage your property, you’ll need a professional letting agent to ensure your properties stay fully let, and well maintained so that you can enjoy a hassle-free reliable income. A good agent will advise you of work you should consider doing to maximise your properties’ value, such as refitting the kitchen, adding another bedroom, upgrading the furniture etc, and offer to organise and project manage these works if required.
Plan To Stick Around
If you can’t convincingly explain why you would own a property for 10 years, it’s probably substandard and you should avoid owning it at all.
Prepare To Leave
If an asset has no secondary market or is hard to sell at a good price (e.g. poorly located properties, single room in a PBSA), you’re best avoiding it altogether.
How Can accumul8 Help You?
“New to the world of HMO investment, I could not have asked for a better team to help me navigate through sourcing, purchasing, refurbishment, renovations and letting. The trio partnership of Accumul8, Renov8 and Loc8me is a dream team. As a remote investor this has taken the stress out of venturing into this market. Always at hand when you need advice, Beth is always prompt and efficient in dealing with matters and getting back to you. Professional, polite and courteous at all times.”
“Dealing with Mike has been a breath of fresh air. Accumul8 know the market inside out, are enthusiastic, honest and have always delivered on promises. It’s never easy being a long way from a property but I am more than happy with those guys involved. They sold one property for exactly what we wanted and has sourced a builder to work on our other one which has produced a letting at a higher price than before, in the space of 3 weeks. I couldn’t be happier or more confident in what is being done on our behalf.”
“Mike Hughes provided outstanding service in the sale of our property in Lincoln. He went way beyond the duties normally expected of an agent and proactively anticipated and dealt with issues that would be raised. Mike has very good contacts with the local authority, which allowed difficulties to be resolved and at every stage he communicated most effectively with everyone. His professionalism is an example to others and I can strongly recommend him to whoever would benefit from his services.”
“I’ve worked with Mike on multiple properties – their service is simply first class. I’m always impressed by their expertise and their proactive approach. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone looking for an invaluable partner in property.”
Founder of Horton’s Estate Agents
“The team at accumul8 and loc8me look after us extremely well. They’ve helped us build and manage a substantial portfolio over the last few years. We’re very grateful to Mike for his commitment to every aspect of every deal that he sources for us and look forward to doing business together for many more years to come.”
“Working with the team at accumul8 helped me expand into three new target cities within a 12 month period and add 120 beds to my student property portfolio. This would have been impossible without their sound advice, ability to source assets at speed, and capacity to undertake and manage two large refurbishment projects. Each acquisition and renovation project came with it’s own challenges which Mike and the team walked me through. As an investment professional myself, I can wholly recommend accumul8 to investors looking for a highly effective and client focussed service.”
“I contacted the team at accumul8 with some general questions surrounding HMO property – I wasn’t sure whether it was the right investment for me. Through their informative communication and proven track record, they gave me the necessary confidence in the student market. By only bringing properties tailored to my investment profile, they clearly listened to my requirements and since initial contact, I have purchased my first HMO through them and am about to complete on a further two.”
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