Are Multi & Student Lets a Good Investment - Your BTL Options

When it comes to investing, you are left with a lot of options. Especially when it comes to the world of student lets and multi-lets. But what exactly is the difference between multi-lets and student lets? How do you get your foot on the multi-let ladder? And where can you find the best deals? 

On this page, we will answer all these questions and more, taking a deep dive into the world of multi-lets and student lets. 

Are you looking to get into the buy to let market and find potential property purchases with great rental yields? That’s something we can help with.

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What Is The Difference Between A Multi-Let And A Student-Let?

Before we begin to compare these two types of investment opportunities, we will first look at exactly what a multi-let is. A multi-let is a property that is rented to at least three people from different households. Within the property, the individuals will share the facilities such as a kitchen, lounge, and even a bathroom depending on the size of the let and the amenities it has on offer.  

Often confused with an HMO, a multi-let does not usually require a license, but it is always a good idea to check with your local council beforehand. 

A student buy-to-let is a mortgage loan that is taken out to purchase a property that will then be let out to university students. A student buy to let mortgage is a popular mortgage type with investors looking to maximise their rental income. This is a great option as these types of student housing are usually set up as an HMO (house of multiple occupation). 

Can You Get A Buy To Let Mortgage As A Student?

Yes, you can! However, it is worth keeping in mind that it will be significantly harder than if you were in a full-time job. This is because mortgage lenders will carry out an “affordability assessment” on you, which is performed on anyone who applies for a mortgage. It is designed to make sure that you can afford your monthly mortgage payments and as a student, you are unlikely to have a full-time job, leaving lenders to view you as high risk. 

If you wish to secure a mortgage as a student, you will need a mortgage guarantor and a large deposit. 

Mortgage Guarantor

Should you find yourself in a situation where you will be unable to make your mortgage payments, your mortgage guarantor will pay the remaining balance in your loan. A guarantor can be anyone as long as they meet the following criteria: 

  • Own a property in the UK 
  • Be a resident of the UK 
  • Not be older than 65 at the time of application 

However, they are usually your parents, grandparents, or legal guardian. 

As your mortgage lender will be responsible for paying your mortgage, they must be able to prove that they have a minimum sustainable income.  You will need a guarantor for not only security measures but also for their credit history. As a student, it is assumed that you will be a first time buyer and so you will have very little credit information. 

Large Deposit

The larger the deposit, the less lenders will consider you a risk. However, if you don’t have a large deposit it is not the end of the world. You can speak to your mortgage advisor as they may know of other mortgage products that do not require a large deposit. 

Are Student Lets A Good Investment?

Student accommodation is a great investment choice. It allows landlords to be able to cover the costs of their mortgage with the added benefit of rental income. There are also plenty of accommodation types to choose from when it comes to city locations for student living. However, with an official university accommodation to compete with and the hoops you may have to jump through, it can be difficult to decide whether or not managing student rental is for you. 

Below we will take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of student lets: 

Advantages Of Student Buy To Let

  • A student buy-to-let can be a good opportunity to financially support your own children whilst they are attending university 
  • It is usually a long-term investment as students are always looking for good student houses and flats near campus 
  • Student buy to lets can often be very high yield as they are often done on a multiple occupancy basis and in turn provide a higher rental return than a single assured shorthold tenancy would
  • You may be able to get a rent guarantor for the students rent to add a layer of security 
  • Whilst you will still have responsibilities as a landlord, students
  • Halls of residence and official university student properties are often very expensive so there is usually an abundance of students looking for affordable alternatives. 

Disadvantages Of Student Buy To Let  

  • As is the case with any property investment, there will, unfortunately, be no guarantee that the property will be consistently fully occupied so you will need to prepare for potential rental voids
  • You will also need to factor in the possibility that house prices and the value of your asset may go down
  • You will have housing health and safety regulations to adhere to 
  • When it comes to student accommodation, you will need to expect competition from other investors as well as from the university itself 
  • You will also need to be wary that some tenants may not treat your property with respect as they are only letting for a short amount of time
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How To Get A Student Buy To Let Mortgage? 

Whether you are interested in letting student homes or student flats, you will first need to secure a buy to let mortgage. The first thing you will need to do is to establish your budget and exactly how much you are going to spend on this investment. This will help you decide on which property you will purchase. 

The majority of lenders will advise that student buy-to-let is an avenue to be undertaken by experienced landlords only and not those who are new to the game.  

Mortgage Survey 

Investments are always a risk, so it is wise to have extra funds available in case things do not go to plan. Deals can fall through at the mortgage survey stage, as surveyors can value a property based purely on bricks and mortar. This can result in a lower valuation than expected. 

If you wish to receive the full mortgage rate you applied for, it is vital that you inform your lender that you plan to rent out the property to students. This way they can value the property based on its predicted rental income. This will also save you from having to cough up a larger deposit to make up for the property being undervalued. 


Budgeting is one of the most important steps in the process. It is a good idea to decide on your budget before you start your search for student accommodation to purchase. Thankfully, most lenders will not require you to have a large amount of personal income in order to be accepted, however, it certainly won’t hurt your chances, as income will show lenders you will be able to weather the storm should you face void periods.

The exact amount that you will be able to borrow will depend upon the amount of rental income that you will be able to generate using your property, which will need to be 125% of the mortgage each month. Some will ask for as much 

This type of goal should be fairly attainable with a student buy to let. This is because you will be receiving rent from each room you let out. This can typically range between £200 – £600 a month. 

Eligibility Criteria 

In order to qualify for a student buy to let mortgage, you will need to meet the standard buy-to-let criteria, however, there are a few additional criteria you may have to meet. Every lender will be different, but here are some of the other factors that lenders may be on the lookout for: 

Legal obligations: If you are purchasing a property that requires an HMO license, then the lender will likely need to see evidence of this. 

Rental yield: It is worth bearing in mind that some lenders may ask for more than the typical 125% of the mortgage repayments. Some have been known to ask for as much as 180%. 

Property type: Lenders will each have 

Landlord experience: Because student lettings can often be a complex investment, you may find that some lenders are reluctant to lend to first-time landlords. It is possible to get a mortgage for a student let as a first-time landlord, however, it can often be difficult. 

How To Apply For A House In Multiple Occupation Licence

If you want to turn a property in your portfolio into an HMO, you will need a licence or planning permission from your local authority. There are several conditions to an HMO licence, and there is also some cost.

An HMO licence is only valid for a maximum of 5 years, and you must renew it before it runs out. You must apply for a separate licence for each HMO you run if you have a more comprehensive portfolio.

To apply for an HMO licence and avoid receiving an unlimited fine for renting out an unlicensed HMO, you must abide by the following:

  • The property is suitable for the number of people (which will vary depending on the size of the building and its facilities).
  • The property manager or agent is considered ‘fit and proper’, meaning they have no criminal record or breach of landlord laws or code of practice.
  • You must also send the council an updated gas safety certificate every year.
  • You must install and maintain smoke alarms.
  • You must provide safety certificates for all electrical appliances when requested. 

Depending on the local council in which the property is located, they may add other conditions to your licence, like improving the standard of your facilities. You can appeal to the First Tier Tribunal if you do not agree with any of the conditions set.


Is Student Rental Profitable?

Student rentals have the great potential to be a profitable outlet for you. The demand for student lets and multi-lets has skyrocketed over the last few years and they have quickly become an investment hotspot. If this is an investment opportunity that you wish to explore, we may have the opportunity for you…

What Alternatives To HMO's Are There?

Residential Buy To Lets

These tend to be normal residential houses, 2 to 3 bedrooms terrace, semi-detached, detached or flats. They are houses that are suitable for the average renter and are sometimes known as vanilla buy to let properties.

A House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) is a rented property occupied by at least three people who are not from one household or five or more people, forming two or more households.

This type of Buy To Let is a freehold block which offers multiple, separate or independent residential units. This can be a variety of different types of property such as blocks of flats or houses converted into flats.

This is very similar to HMO’s and even are often referred to as non-licensable HMO’s. They have many characteristics of a typical HMO but don’t require the licence, but they may still require planning permission from your local authority.

as the name describes, this is a commercial premises and it is when you let the property out to one or more businesses. It’s often referred to as Commercial Landlord Mortgage, Business Buy To Let Mortage or Commercial Investment Mortage.

Invest With The Best 

Looking to get into the wonderful world of property investment? Or perhaps you are a seasoned investor looking for their next buy-to-let opportunity? Whatever your motivations, we are here to help. 

When the foundations of your company are built upon industry knowledge and experience, you can’t help but be a self-confident company. 

Here at The Property Sourcing Company, we are led by a roster of industry experts who have over 50 years of combined experience in doing BMV property deals, as well as packaging them up for investors. 

Quality sits at the heart of our team, who go the extra mile to tailor our service to you. We pride ourselves in our ability to source you a wide variety of high-yield property investments. 

Get in touch and we’ll establish what type of property you’re searching for, before talking you through our current investment opportunities. We’ll also keep you posted as we acquire new deals.

Buy your investment property through us and we’ll take care of solicitors, surveys – everything – all to ensure you have a stress-free property purchase. It’s just one of the ways we make investment work for you. 

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Our Locations

You might be wondering where we are able to offer these fantastic Buy To Let opportunities with great yields, and the answer is pretty much anywhere in England and Wales. We’ve detailed below some of the main areas that we regularly buy properties in, just to give you an idea.

Buy To Let Investment Examples

When we say that we can source properties that offer a high yield, you don’t just have to take our word for it. Below you will find some of the properties we’ve recently sold to our investor database and their example yields:

Gwent Buy To Let
Leeds Buy To Let
Crewe BTL
North London Buy To Let