The best university towns to become a landlord

by | Mar 11, 2023

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RankUniversityCityAvg. house price (£)Avg. student yearly rent (£)Students renting (%)Final score (/10)
1Royal Conservatoire of ScotlandGlasgow£198,747£9,36052%8.05
2The University of Edinburgh Edinburgh£324,801£11,54452%7.44
3The University of GlasgowGlasgow£198,747£8,32046%7.41
4Imperial College of Science, Technology and MedicineLondon£691,018£9,88056%7.15
=5Robert Gordon UniversityAberdeen£192,930£9,36048%6.91
=5London School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineLondon£691,018£9,62057%6.91
7Glasgow Caledonian UniversityGlasgow£198,747£10,19235%6.80
8London School of Economics and Political ScienceLondon£691,018£10,40047%6.77
9The University of LancasterLancaster£192,685£7,02050%6.68
10The University of WarwickWarwick£350,326£10,24442%6.65

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, in Glasgow, is the best university town for student landlords to invest in. With a score of 8.05/10, landlords may be drawn to the town for its high rental yields. With house prices averaging £198,747, 39% less than those near the University of Edinburgh (£324,801), and average student rent costing £9,360 a year, landlords earn back a sizeable 4.7% of their home’s value every 12 months. In comparison, University of Edinburgh landlords receive just 3.6% of their homes value annually.

More than two in five (43%) of UK landlords agree that housing students is advantageous due to less difficulty finding tenants[1]. This is especially true for Royal Conservatoire students in Glasgow, as 52.3% opt to rent student housing. Landlords looking to invest in the area should note that one in five students in Glasgow rank proximity to their university (20%) and security (20%) as their top priorities for accommodation[2]

The University of Edinburgh scores 7.44/10, thanks to a high annual rent costs and slimmer chances of conflict with tenants. Edinburgh’s students pay the second highest average yearly rent in the UK (£11,544), second only to the annual rent for University of Greenwich students (£12,376). They’re also less likely to have disputes with their landlords, with a third (33%) never having any related issues. This is 6% above the UK average (27%)[3].


Houses near the University of Glasgow are the third best for landlords to invest in, with a score of 7.41/10, as landlords will see 4.2% of their initial investment returned a year. While this is 0.6% more than the University of Edinburgh, the University of Glasgow’s score is reduced by a smaller percentage of students renting (45.7%) than Royal Conservatoire and Scotland (52.3%) and the University of Edinburgh (52.0%).

What do students value most in a landlord?

Research from the buy-to-let mortgages statistics revealed that students hold honesty as the most important quality for their landlords, with two in five (17%) valuing it above characteristics like communication (16%) or even abiding to their contract (11%)[5]


Interestingly, these are the same qualities that landlords look for in tenants, with 50% valuing honesty in their occupants[6] buy-to-let mortgage, Kellie Steed, offers advice on how to become a buy-to-let landlord:

Buying a property to let is exciting, but unless you can afford to buy a home outright, you will need a buy-to-let mortgage to finance the property. It’s also important to consider how well suited you are to the responsibilities involved with being a landlord.


·        Consider your deposit: You will typically need a deposit of 25% or more for a buy-to-let mortgage, so look at your current assets and financial position to see if this works for you. Renting out a property to tenants when you have a residential mortgage is classed as mortgage fraud, and could result in hefty fees or even having your mortgage withdrawn entirely

·        Research the market: Think about what’s important to tenants, and which locations offer those qualities. While choice of location can influence the income your property could make, it’s also important to consider factors like distance from public transport, and how to make your rental property desirable

·        Decide what kind of landlord you’ll be: Your relationship with the tenants and the level of personal effort required will hinge on whether you are a full-time, or part-time landlord. A full-time landlord is responsible for rent collection, property repairs, and communication with the occupants, part-time landlords simply own the mortgage and the property. They employ a property management agency – which means less responsibility, but also less profit for you, as agencies usually take somewhere between 10% – 20% of the rental income.”


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