Do you have a vacant piece of property located in a college town or near a college campus? Why not consider renting it out to college students?
Like any rental strategy, there are benefits and drawbacks to offering your property to college tenants. But being aware of the pitfalls and how to manage them will help minimize the risks and possibly even ensure profitability.
We’ll go into the tips in more detail later. But for now, here are some quick tips for renting to college students:
- Accept only renters with co-signers or guarantors
- Ask for Renters’ Insurance
- Include utilities in the rental agreement
Why rent property to college students?
Why would you want to rent a house or apartment to college students? Are there any benefits to doing so?
If your property is located near campus or in a college community, you might be sitting on a prime piece of property in the rental market. Approximately 44% of all college students live off-campus, which means millions of prospective renters.
Plus, the real estate market for college renters always has low vacancy rates. This allows you to charge competitive rates, which isn’t possible in many communities.
Marketing costs also tend to be low when catering to the college crowd. The location is often a huge selling point, and news of available property gets around pretty quickly. Some student housing organizations and websites will even host or promote your listing for free.
And then there is the cost of upgrades. Most students have very modest requirements in rental properties if it means paying lower rent. As long as your house or apartment meets the minimum safety and hygienic standards, most college students will be happy to sign the rental agreement.
3 tips for renting to college students without getting burned
Of course, there are drawbacks to consider, which is where these rental tips come in. You will find that most of the concerns you have about renting to college students can be addressed by following these tips:
Accept only renters with co-signers
Most college students don’t have regular income sources, affecting their ability to pay rent or damage fees. Therefore, it would be best to accept only renters with a co-signer or a guarantor for your peace of mind. These could be the renter’s parents or any other person of legal age who can commit to paying any unpaid rent or damage costs.
Ask for renters’ insurance
Renter’s insurance can ease your concerns about potential property damage. If something needs to be repaired or replaced when the tenant moves out, you can request reimbursement from the renter’s insurance company. Placing the responsibility for insurance on the tenant will spare you the cost of higher premiums associated with getting your own insurance.
Include utilities in the rental agreement
Consider bundling utilities with the rental agreement. This simplifies fee collection by giving your tenants only a single bill to worry about. It also spares you the trouble of ensuring that the bills are paid when they leave. Including utilities also makes the property more appealing to prospective renters.
Renting to college students can be fraught with challenges. However, following the tips outlined above should help protect your property and finances.
This article was brought to you by Henderson Association Management, a community management company serving North Carolina and South Carolina.