Furnishing student properties as a landlord

Furnishing student properties as a landlord

Specialising in the student accommodation market as a landlord can be a wise decision. Not only do you get virtually guaranteed year-round income from tenants, but you can charge students more than you would in typical HMOs, particularly in city-centre locations. But as the market becomes more saturated, landlords and letting agents are forced to work harder to ensure their properties are attractive - one way you can do that is to furnish your property. 

Below, we’ve put together some tips on properly furnishing your student properties… 

Should you furnish a student house?

Before we dive into the furniture you’ll need to buy as a landlord, let’s ask the pressing question: is it worthwhile spending money on furniture at all? The answer is, it depends. 

You should remember, most students will be coming from their family home for the first time, and as a result, it’s unlikely that they’ll have a spare chest of drawers and a sofa for the living room. Once they’ve got their heads around tuition fees and living costs, the last thing they want to do is worry about kitting out their new student accommodation. And if they do, they’ll probably opt for cheap furniture that won’t stand the test of time. 

And the good news for you is that, according to one report, a furnished two-bedroom apartment can cost up to £128 or 21% more than an unfurnished property. Because of this, you can expect to charge student tenants a little bit more by kitting out their new home.

What to buy for a student house as a landlord

Though you’ll need to get the basics in place as soon as possible - think fridges, beds, and sofas - you’ll also need to consider the placement of plug sockets, a WiFi router, and even garden furniture to create additional living space. After that, add these items to your list:

  • Washing machine and tumble dryer (multiple self-contained apartments can share)
  • Cooker and extractor fan
  • Carpets, flooring, curtains, and lampshades
  • Bedframes and mattresses (and potentially even bedding)
  • Wardrobes, bedside cabinets, and other storage
  • Desk and chair to create study spaces for students
  • Sofas, armchairs, coffee tables, and other living room furniture 
  • Bins for the kitchen, bedrooms, and other communal areas like bathrooms
  • House vacuum cleaner to encourage cleaning
  • Lawnmower if required

Make communal areas stand out

Though you shouldn’t spend thousands of pounds on expensive furniture for a student pad, it makes sense to put most of your furniture budget into communal areas. A good quality sofa, some nice fitted carpets, and a decent-looking kitchen will all make your student house more attractive to potential tenants, especially in towns and cities that are oversaturated. 

Nowadays, students want to be able to socialise with their friends - both flatmates, and their course pals. By putting the focus on those communal spaces, including gardens, you’ll help prospective tenants see the potential of your house, increasing their chances of choosing it.

Don’t overlook colours

Though it can be tempting to choose the cheapest furniture available - like IKEA and Argos’ basics - you should think long-term and remember that the furniture is part of your house. Once your tenants move out, you’ll be able to give it a freshen up and reuse it for your next bunch of student tenants. Therefore, investing in sturdy, quality furniture makes more sense.

Colours should also be considered. Choose neutral tones that will stand the test of time; if you go for a quirky blue or purple table, you’ll find it’s soon outdated. Blues are known to be relaxing and encourage calm and productivity, whereas green is a great choice for bedrooms as it’s known to conjure up the feeling of tranquillity. Avoid blacks and whites - grey walls are a good idea, as they’re modern and won’t show scuffs and stains as easily as white walls.

Choosing furniture for your student pad can be tough, but it’s a worthwhile investment and can increase your monthly rent. If you’re looking for other ways to drive more revenue, ask about our student bills management service for landlords, designed to unlock an additional income stream and make managing multiple student properties more straightforward.