Student landlords need to step up their marketing to make sure they find tenants this year as numbers drop slightly, says the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
ARLA reckons student numbers this academic year have dropped by up to 15,000 compared to last year, mainly due to a hike in fees from £3,000 to £9,000 a year.
This could mean less competition for beds and landlords having to work harder to stand out from the competition when seeking tenants.
ARLA also suggests the fee hike and increasing cost of living will make value-for-money more important than ever.
Ian Potter, managing director of ARLA, said: "Landlords should not be surprised by the drop in student numbers, which follows on from the hike in fees and ongoing tough employment conditions.
"In recent times, student lettings has been an area of almost constant growth, but it is now time for landlords to recognise there may be more competition for tenants."
ARLA suggests some tips for student landlords:
● View the property like a student - If one bedroom is smaller the others, consider switching the use by offering a secure storage room or charging reduced rent. Sharers prefer to avoid conflicts over room sizes when they are looking for a property
● Bundle extras like broadband or a TV licence in with the rent
● Research online and ask a specialist lettings agent for advice on the going rental rates in the area to make sure you get your price right. Even view a couple of similar houses to check out the rent and living standards
● Keep the property looking good with a splash of paint and a professional clean. Consider specific maintenance requests made by would-be tenants as this could increase the chances they will sign for the property - but write any agreed improvements into the contract
If your property is in a holiday area, consider term-time contracts only so you can let the rooms if the local area hosts a sports or arts event.