School is about to start and properties near the colleges will see of flood of tenant applications. Do you want to rent to college students? Here are a few pros and cons, and how to minimize your risks:
- Most likely parents are paying the students rent, which means it’s less risky.
- Rent in a college town tends to be higher because it’s in competition with dorm room fees.
- Students expectations aren’t usually high and can be easy going tenants.
- Students are easy to advertise too – Craigslist or flyers at the colleges will usually do the trick.
- They may pay in advance – With student loan money coming in, or to have less hassle for parents, you may get paid for the entire semester up front.
- Most likely, this is the first time a student is living on their own. They may push boundaries to get accustom to this new freedom.
- If they were use to mom and dad cooking and cleaning up after them, they may have some adjusting to do.
- Students are tougher on apartments than normal tenants due to the short-term nature of their stay.
- The risk of parties increases the likelihood of damages to the property.
Minimizing the Risk
- Have your attorney craft a special lease tailored to renting to college students. It should include co-signers as well as clauses on noise, maximum occupancy, and damages/repairs.
- Have both parents cosign for minors and non-minors to add to the level of responsibility.
- Do thorough screenings and checks on the student and parents. Pay close attention to the students references since they will have a limited credit history.
- Hire a third party to monitor the building, similar to a Resident Assistant in a college dorm.
- Rent by the bed: This way, one bad roommate won’t spoil the whole bunch or cause as many headaches for you if they need to move out.
The abundance of college students can provide a spike to your business in the fall. If you take the appropriate precautions, it can be a profitable revenue stream, and one you can count on year after year.