For landlords willing to rent to young tenants, college students offer a reliable pipeline to keep units filled and decrease vacancy rates. While renting to students has its drawbacks, there are advantages, too. Learn about the pros and cons of having college student tenants to decide what’s right for your properties.
Advantages of Renting to College Students
Students are one of the most convenient sources of renters in college towns. By advertising to students, you can generate interest and fill vacant units quickly. Not only will you save time by targeting students, you will keep advertising costs down, as well.
Some landlords believe students are risky renters because they may not have steady income to pay the rent. The good news is, you can often have their parents co-sign the lease. Since parents are saving on room and board over on-campus rates, many will be happy to co-sign — and they may even offer the whole semester’s rent upfront.
Most college students aren’t looking for luxury accommodations, they’re searching for safe, cheap housing near campus. If you have older housing stock and don’t want to rehab, college students may be a great target market.
Disadvantages of Renting to College Students
Property Damage and Parties
For many landlords, these are the biggest concern. Students may hold parties, which can lead to noise complaints from others. They may damage the property accidentally or simply not understand the consequences of an action, such as not reporting a slow leak in the plumbing.
Ultimately, landlords will experience more property damage and some partying when renting to students. To protect your property, take a large security deposit and go out of the way to explain how and when you’d like to be notified of maintenance issues.
Lack of Experience
Most college students are on their own for the first time. They are learning how to budget, manage money, pay rent on time, and pay utility bills all at once. This crash course in “adulting” can be overwhelming for some students. Plus, the lack of experience can cause them to make mistakes. If you know you’ll perseverate over a late rent payment, you might not want to rent to college students. If you can be flexible and fair, you may have a positive experience renting to students (knowing you’re helping them gain valuable lifelong skills).
Students may rent for one year or less, as many don’t stay in town over summer. Expect higher turnover rates when renting to college students. This drawback is offset by the ready population of students eager to snap up vacancies.
No matter who you decide to rent to, a strong lease and proper tenant screening policy protect your interests. Get access to both — and much more — when you become an American Apartment Owners Association member today.