Summer is drawing to a close, and class will be back in session soon. Landlords near universities all over the country are preparing to open up their properties for new and returning students, but they need to make sure they have the right landlord protection insurance.

A rich market for student housing

Over 90 per cent of students in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth are living at home or in rental properties.

Private housing options are in demand near Australia’s universities, as students largely prefer avoiding on-campus housing options. According to JLL’s Australian Student Accommodation Market Update 2015, over 90 per cent of students in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth are living at home or in rental properties. Given the number of students choosing not to live in university-provided housing options, renting to students can be a great way for landlords to maximise their revenue while maintaining the flexibility of short-term lease periods.

Leasing academic accommodations can help landlords make the most financially, often being able to collect from multiple tenants on a single piece of property. Combined with the housing trend for Australian universities, this makes renting to students an attractive proposition.

Malicious damage is a big concern for landlords renting to students.

Increased risks and landlord protection insurance

While it is important for property owners to have the right landlord protection insurance when they rent out rooms, those renting to students must ensure they are suitably covered. Student housing is inherently different from traditional rental arrangements, especially when rooms in a single dwelling are rented to unconnected tenants.

The insurance a landlord will require is largely tied to the circumstances of an individual property. Is the entire property rented to a group of friends? Is each room leased separately? These and other factors will determine what specific coverage needs a landlord will require. With the amount of complexity involved, student housing leasers can benefit greatly from consultation with an insurance broker.

Another important factor to consider in renting to students is age. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, people age 15-24 have the highest offender rate of all age groups with 5,057 per 100,000 persons for 15-19 year olds and 4,791 per 100,000 persons for 20-24 year olds between 2013 and 2014. This should be a factor when considering insurance protection for malicious damage caused by tenants, one of the top claims for student housing, according to Terri Scheer Insurance.

Landlords renting to students can contact a broker at MGA Insurance today to find the coverage they need.