How to Safely Rent to Students
Do you own properties near a college campus or university? If so, this means that you will most likely be renting to students. While there are certain considerations and needs to take into account when renting to a younger and more inexperienced part of the population, have no fear! It is very possible to safely rent to students effectively. Let’s look at some key considerations:
If your properties are near a university or campus of any kind, there is basically a built in guarantee that you will always have prospective tenants. This is excellent news for your pocket book. Not only will you have a better chance of the property filling quickly, but this also means that you spend less time on marketing. Students need to live as close to campus as possible, so the location of your properties is the selling point. They also typically like to live close to their friends and classmates so word of mouth is another way that properties get rented quickly.
The safety of the neighborhood is another big factor students look for when choosing housing. They will most likely be walking back and forth from campus to their properties a lot so ensuring that their home is located in a safe environment is crucial.
It is also crucial that students in certain areas have close access to metro transportation. Many do not have cars and some campuses may require taking a bus, shuttle or bike to certain classes as well as restaurants, shops, and entertainment. The closer in proximity to these you can get, the higher the value of your property for students.
Doing laundry can be such a hassle for students. Many are used to having easy access in their dorms and definitely are not going to want to go far to wash their clothes. In-unit laundry is obviously preferred, but living fairly close to a laundromat is the next best option. Allowing easy laundry access will help the value of your property for students.
Access to high-speed internet is a must for college students. As an added perk, some property managers offer quality internet service and packages that can even be bundled with the rent, This results in one less bill for the student to worry about and an added advantage of renting from you.
It may seem contrary, but collecting rent payments from students is not typically difficult. Much of the time, students have either a parent or family member pay their rent while they are in school. There are also many cases where rent is paid via a scholarship, grant, or another form from a university or institution.
Though there is not always an issue with students having the rent money, there does tend to be an issue with students paying the rent on time. Oftentimes, this is a result of students’ immaturity as they learn how to balance life responsibilities, and sometimes they just simply forget. Inserting a section about rent deadlines and payment penalties into the lease may be a good idea to ensure more timely payments. Another great option is requiring the rent to come out of a designated bank account each month, eliminating the transactional step with the tenant.
Fees and Restrictions
Though there can be issues with some student renters, a few easy ways to control these less than desirable situations are to add fees and restrictions to the lease. For example, students can have a tendency to be loud and sometimes disturb the peace of the neighborhood. If a maximum noise level is outlined in the lease, then it can be enforced by you. This, and sometimes the appearance of campus police, can be enough to make students more aware of their noise level and keep it under control.
For others, this may not be the case. Closely interviewing tenants is a way to firsthand get a feel for the students’ disposition and deduce whether they might cause issues or not. If they are not what you’re looking for in a tenant, then there are sure to be many more viable options waiting in line.
In addition to the noise, subleasing is another common situation with students. A lot of them leave town for the summer and may opt to sublet their place, resulting in some less than desirable subletters. Some ways to avoid issues with this are adding fees for subletting or simply a section in the lease that forbids subleasing altogether.
Generally Low Maintenance
While they’re not without their flaws, the good news is that students are generally low-maintenance tenants. They do not have certain requirements for housing that non-students tend to have. As long as the basic amenities are in functional condition, students are typically content. They don’t tend to demand upgrades on properties whereas families and other non-student tenants are not always as compliant. Thus renting from students can end up saving you a lot of money, as long as you stay on top of basic routine maintenance.
Overall, renting to students can be a workable situation that many property owners have success with. If you decide you don’t want to deal with students directly, then hiring a company like Utopia Management to manage the day-to-day operations of the property is always an option.