Landlords, as a rule, rent their properties to many different subsets of people, including students. However, there are certain things that landlords and property owners must know before renting to students.
Renting to a student is a great way to quickly fill a vacancy, give a young person a chance, and potentially make a difference in the community. The downside is the higher risks associated with this sort of rental. Here is what you need to know before you get started.
As mentioned above, there are certain risks associated with renting to students. For example, most students will only need to rent a space seasonally, so renting to them may create vacancies in the summer. Likewise, most students will not have an extended credit history, putting them at higher risk financially.
There are other risks to consider, such as their lack of experience (including a lack of experience paying bills) and potential noise concerns (consider the stereotypical student behavior, and this one is clear).
Students may also not understand basic tenant responsibilities, such as how to file a maintenance request. This may result in a little problem growing in scale when it otherwise could have been prevented.
Don’t worry; there are positives to help balance these additional risks. There is a generally higher demand for student housing, especially near school towns and properties. So filling vacancies shouldn’t be an issue. This has a secondary benefit as it reduces the need for expensive advertising. Word of mouth will do that for you.
Since students have little experience renting properties, they will not go into this process with inflated expectations. In other words, they’ll be happy to get an apartment and won’t demand all the latest bells and whistles. They will happily accept a simple property with no upgrades.
Finally, the possibility of multiple roommates in a property can help to mitigate any financial risk. The more people on the lease, the easier it will be for them to make their monthly payments. As this is a common social expectation for students, frequent arrangements are already in place for this sort of thing.
There are additional steps a landlord or property owner can take when renting to students. These steps will help reduce the overall risk. For example, requesting a cosigner or guarantor will minimize the risk of property damage and ensure that the rent gets paid. Likewise, periodic inspections can help spot damage or other repair needs before they become a more significant problem.
Finally, it is critical to set expectations in the lease. This means laying out any rules, regulations, or rules to follow. Doing so in writing will protect you and make it easier for the students to find information as they need it.