Student accommodation is always in demand if you live in a university or college town, especially if it is reasonably priced and well maintained.
Renting out part of your home on a permanent basis may not be something you have wanted to do but have you considered renting to students? This is a far more flexible option as they do not need accommodation all year round and are not likely to want to stay for years on end.
Also the needs of students can be far more basic. Access to a kitchen and bathroom and a simple room, big enough to for a single bed, a desk, a couple of cupboards and a few home comforts is all they will require during term time. After all apart from sleeping and studying, students tend not to spend too much time in their digs.
There are two options for providing student accommodation in your home. Either you provide a clean and comfortable room with access to cooking facilities or you provide them with a cooked breakfast and or evening meal.
This decision is very much based on your own circumstances and the facilities are you are able to provide. It is far easier to allow access to your own kitchen facilities than to allow cooking in there own room as this will require special health and safety measures to be put into place which could be costly and also you may have to increase your insurances in case of accidents etc.
Some students my prefer to have more of a home from home and like to have some meals provided for them. This may apply more to foreign students who may feel that they would like more of a family feel, as they are strangers to the country.
The best way to advertise your student accommodation is to telephone your local colleges and universities and language schools and see if there is a register of accommodation that you can appear on.
Other options are to advertise in local newspapers or to put cards up in shop windows or on student notice boards.
This very much depends on where you live i.e. in major cities the price will be higher. It also depends on the accommodation and services you are providing.
It is a good idea to contact local universities to see if they have any recommendations regarding price, as they will have a better understanding of student needs and comparisons with other similar accommodation.
You can also check out the local papers yourself to compare prices.
Generally at the time of writing (2009) basic student accommodation for one room in London is around £100 a week if meals are provided etc then this will increase to around £150 per week. If the accommodation is more luxuries i.e. on suite then this will o up to around £200. These prices are just a guide and it is better to check prices locally.
The costs involved are:
If you supply towels and bed linen also this is another cost that you will have to be built in, as you will probably have to renew these more frequently due to wear and tear etc.
There is no need for any training or experience of providing accommodation. Just normal common sense is all that is required and an ability to make sure that the accommodation is kept clean and in good condition then you are likely to be able to find students for your home easily.
The advantage of renting to students or lecturers is that you will not only be able to make some extra cash but you will also meet lost of new and interesting people along the way.
You will also have the flexibility of renting for shorter periods of time and so not tying yourself to your property all years round.
On the negative side you may come across the odd difficult or inconsiderate tenant who may not respect your home and this can cause problems.
Also if you are taking in foreign students you may come across some differences in culture which may cause clashes to occur. What is acceptable in one culture may not be in another. But if handles confidently and non confrontationally then it should be possible to resolve any issues like this.