Making the right decision when both furnishing and decorating your student house can have a positive impact on your letting process and cash flow. Choosing furnishings and decor that both provide an attractive setting whilst also being hardwearing and easy to clean will save time and money as a student landlord.
The bedrooms in the property are important, they are the students private space and will often be the room they spend most time in. A good quality bed will limit the number of times that it needs replacing. A Mattress protector will also prolong the life of the bed. In terms size, students now often expect a double bed, and are now usually provided by landlords. Most rooms can accommodate a double bed, even in smaller rooms the presence of a small double (4 foot) bed will be a huge benefit to students and help to keep your property competitive in the market.
Other items to include are a wardrobe, drawers, bedside table and desk with a chair. Students report that the study / desk area is important so it makes sense to choose a good quality piece. This also goes for other items, buying solid wood furniture will reduce the need for replacement that is particularly necessary with flatpack items made of chipboard / particleboard. The time taken to assemble such items will also be removed.
Students also prefer black out blinds in their bedrooms, and can be easily and cheaply installed.
In terms of decoration, plain and basic is best. A neutral paint colour will appeal to the largest number of tenants. Whilst laminate floor may be recommended in living areas and hallways, a bedroom carpet will provide warmth and reduce energy costs. A short and dense pile will last the longest, and polyester is more stain resistant than nylon.
Students will naturally want to decorate their new room with photos and posters, so providing removable picture hooks and cork boards should reduce the wear and tear to walls caused by blu tack, pins and hooks.
In the kitchen there should be appropriate storage for each tenant, being able to provide a cupboard each will reduce conflict. Separate shelves in fridges and freezers are also advisable.
Whilst basic white goods, such as washing machine and fridge-freezer, are necessary, consider providing other items such as toasters, kettles, chopping boards, pans and a basic set of crockery. This will increase the appeal to students, particularly from other parts of the UK or abroad who cannot bring unlimited amounts with them. A dishwasher may make your property stand out from the crowd.
A hardwearing flooring should be chosen, such as tiling or laminate, as they can be easily cleaned and won’t need to be replaced often. Kitchen and Bathroom paint is much easier to wipe clean and will resist any dampness caused by cooking.
The living space is an important area, as students, especially from overseas, will want to settle in and socialise with other tenants. Sofas and chairs can be expensive items to replace, so should be carefully chosen to increase their life expectancy. Leather sofas or those with a removable and washable cover will be the best choice as they can be reused year after year. There should also be enough seating – assume all tenants may want to use the room at the same time.
Living areas will likely have the most footfall, so a hard flooring will require the least renewing, laminate floor is an economic option. Silk finish paints as opposed to matt finish paints will be more durable and will be washable.
A TV is now a readily provided item in student houses. A wall mounted arrangement will minimise damage whilst also maximising available space in the room. The TV should ideally be larger than 32”, large TVs are becoming cheaper and cheaper and will help sell the property to tenants. As long as all tenants are signed on the same contract, multiple TVs can be added without the need for additional licenses.
- Buying cleaning equipment may not be too high on a student’s list of priorities, the provision of such things will make looking after the property easier.
- All furniture and furnishings must be compliant with Fire Safety regulations.
- Bedroom door locks are required to ensure the safety of tenants’ possessions.
When furnishing and decorating a student house it is financially beneficial to follow the principles of; Durability – choosing items you won’t need to maintain often; Easy Clean – such as sofa covers, silk finish paint and laminate flooring which require minimal time to clean; and Economy – selecting items which are not too expensive to replace yet will not break after the first use.
This should limit the expense of maintenance and replacement, whist providing a house high quality residence which is appealing and easy to maintain for your student tenants.
Tilt Property. 2019. Accessed 7th November, 2019, from https://www.usetilt.com/blog/a-landlords-guide-to-furnishing-a-student-house/
Student Housing Lincoln. 2016. Accessed 7th November, 2019, from https://studenthousinglincoln.co.uk/what-furniture-to-include-in-student-accommodation/
Loft Student. 2017. Accessed 7th November, 2019, from http://www.student-furniture.co.uk/landlords-guide-furnishing-student-property/