Why You Should Rent to Students
If you've seen pretty much any movie about students, you might be a little nervous to rent your house to them. In real life, most students are students because they want to (gasp) study! If you own a rental property located in a university or college area and do not rent to students, you may be missing out on a golden opportunity.
Here's why you should consider renting to students:
1. You can charge more.
Rent and fees can be set higher due to high demand. Many students often prefer their own space and freedom, rather than being crammed into a school dorm.
2. You can rent by room.
It will be more profitable if you rent by the room rather than trying to rent the entire property. This obviously applies to houses or 2+ bedroom apartments. If you rent by room you can also determine who might be a bad apple and remove that individual rather than tossing out the whole bag.
3. There is constant demand.
There will always be a demand for student housing unless the school decides to shut down. This gives you the ability to be a bit more choosey when it comes to selecting a great tenant.
4. Free Advertising
You can often post your property for free on the school's website and social media. This cuts down the cost of advertising and will reduce vacancies, meaning more money in your pocket.
5. Easygoing Tenants
Students don't typically expect luxury, so you don't have to worry about having the most expensive or newest furniture and appliances.
In many cases, the university or college only has room to accommodate first year and international students in their dorms, which will leave an overflow of second or third years. This is the perfect opportunity for you to fill any vacancies with the added bonus of landing yourself a 2 or 3 year tenant.
Renting in general isn't always a fairy tale but there are a few extra steps you can take to ensure renting to students will have a happy ending.
1. Ask for the students' parents to be co-signers on the lease. Adding at least one parent to the lease will give you peace of mind. Typically, the parents are paying the rent anyway.
2. Screen both the student and their parents as you would any potential tenant. Since students don't typically have much in the way of credit history it's important to screen who will actually be paying the rent.
3. Do some homework to find out if the student has had problems at school or with previous landlords. Ask for references as part of your application process.
4. Add additional rules to your lease for common complaints such noise, damage and how many people can live or stay in the unit. You can even add rules for drinking and partying in common areas, as well as for things like fireworks and open fires.
5. Schedule routine inspections. This will give you the opportunity to assess your property and ensure things are running smoothly.
Now that we've gone over the benefits, here are a few things you can do to boost your property's appeal to students:
1. Include a summary of all the fees and utilities into one final price. Some students are unaware heating and electricity can be an additional cost and may not budget for it if the total price isn't apparent.
2. Note on your listing if there is parking or bike storage as students will need a way to get around.
3. List the bus routes and other places your property is located close to such as grocery stores, shopping, libraries and restaurants.
4. Be honest and clear in your communication. The more interactions you have in writing, the less frustrations you'll encounter. (Hint: @Assist would be perfect for recording and storing all conversations, service requests, and payments. Click here to get started.)
5. Treat students with the same care and respect that you'd have for any tenant. They might not expect much, but they do deserve a safe place to rest their heads and that maintenance requests and repairs will be handled in a timely manner.
6. State if your property is pet-friendly. Pets serve as great comfort companions (and family). If you do not intend to allow pets, consider the impact this could have on your vacancies. Click here to see a great post about if allowing pets in your rental is right for you.
Remember students are new to adulting. For many, this is their first time living away from home and being independent. Yes, some will get carried away but some will be looking for an opportunity to prove they're responsible. As with any tenant, there will always be benefits and risks, so use your judgement and the tips above to make the best possible decision.
When it comes to student tenants, what steps do you take to protect your property? Answer in the comments below.