College students are a unique demographic of tenants. And as a landlord, you have to be prepared for the implications of renting to this group. Here are some tips to know before renting to college students.
In a college town, being a landlord can bring in a steady source of income for you. However, there are some risks and consequences that you have to be ready to handle.
If you are thinking of renting out your property to college students, here are some tips that you should know:
Consult with a property management company
A residential property management company can help you find and screen potential tenants, collect rent, and draft leases, among many other services. Consulting with one can also help you decide if renting to college students is a good idea for you, based on your property, its location, and other relevant factors. So if you’re on the fence about renting to students, set a meeting with a property management company first.
Know the risks
There is a certain set of risks when it comes to renting to traditional college students, which is a demographic composed of young people aged 18-22 who are likely just having their first taste of independence. When you rent to college students, here are some potential problems that you may run into:
- Wild parties and noise complaints
- Property damage related to rambunctious behavior
- Fewer real-life skills such as paying bills and cleaning the apartment
- Limited rental references and credit history
- Underage drinking, recreational drug use, and smoking on the property
Of course, not every college student will party every weekend and break your windows in a drunken stupor, but you still have to be aware of these risks to know how to mitigate them.
Be savvy with your advertising
Post your listings on well-known real estate websites and local rental groups online. College students will most likely look for rental units online first. Make your listing attractive by including high-definition photos and complete details (amount needed upfront, pet policies, distance from the campus, and other things that you feel that you need to highlight, alongside basic information). Having a good listing will help you find more applicants, and the more applicants you have, the better your chances at finding the best tenants.
Standardize your screening process
Screening applicants is a crucial step in managing rentals. Create your own screening process that will weed out unfit applicants for your property. You can check relevant information such as income, job history, rental history, and criminal background. However, because college students have little to no rental history or job history, you may have to base your decision on the parameters that they do have.
Ask for a deposit
Property damage is a genuine possibility when renting to college students. Even though they aren’t throwing wild parties, there may still be instances of damage due to carelessness or lack of maintenance experience. Thus, asking for a security deposit can protect your property in case any damage occurs.
There is little to no chance of vacancy when there is a steady supply of students coming every year. Thus, renting to students is a golden opportunity for landlords in a college town. If you’re considering it, take note of these tips to ensure you find the best tenants and protect your property as much as possible.