Students are different!
If you’ve had children of your own or remember those days when you were at school, college or university, you’ll know the truth of that. However, what you might not know is that letting to students requires thinking about your landlords’ insurance.
Why – because they are “different” and that might, in some cases, change how your landlords’ insurance provider sees the risks associated with providing cover for you.
Why students change things
There are more students in the UK than there have ever been, including those from overseas. As a result, the demand for student rental accommodation is high.
It’s a potentially lucrative marketplace but what some landlords may not appreciate is that their existing let property insurance might exclude rentals to students.
Let’s be clear, insurers don’t have any grudge against students as such. They’re not motivated by any desire to make life difficult for them or you.
The issue is simply that students may have characteristics unlike those of a typical tenant and that changes the risk profile for the insurer.
If that sounds unlikely, consider the following in terms of typical students:
- they’re likely to be young and exuberant;
- they may be less inclined to consume alcohol in moderation;
- it might be the case that they will have far more visitors coming into the property than older tenants;
- they will have little by way of credit history files to indicate their financial trustworthiness;
- employment references might not exist at all or be limited to summer job type activities;
- disposable income levels are probably going to be lower and that might encourage economy-over-safety type behaviours with appliances and so on; etc.
Saying more would be labouring the point but the message is clear. While not all students might be covered by the above, statistically, they may be seen as a higher risk group than some other tenants.
Some landlord insurance might exclude students from their standard cover.
That might also include other groups such as asylum seekers, social housing benefit recipients and others.
You could, of course, simply choose not to let to students or these other groups.
On the other hand, if you do wish to keep your options open, you may be able to find landlord insurance that does cover these groups automatically. A variation on that are those insurers who do not include students automatically but who might include them for a perhaps modest additional premium.
Whatever other options you might consider, above all, don’t “do nothing” in the hope that this will stay hidden. If your policy specifically excludes students and a problem arises which is related to you letting to them, your claim may be refused.
It’s just not worth the risk. So, read your policy carefully before letting to students. If there’s an apparent issue there, contact your insurance provider and ask them to assist.
This is a large and potentially profitable marketplace. Just make sure you have the appropriate cover in place and you will be able to take advantage of the opportunities arising.