26 Aug Tips for Renting to College Student Tenants
Owning rental property near a college or university can be a lucrative way to quickly fill vacancies: 60% of full-time students at public universities and 23% at private universities live off-campus, and an average property located near a college town can yield 30-40% higher rents. However, renting to college student tenants poses its own challenges. Check out these tips on how to take advantage of the benefits of renting to college students.
1. Understand the risks:
First, you must understand that when it comes to renting to college student tenants, there may be some risk involved. Although renting to college students will keep your vacancies filled, it does come with unique risks, including:
- A seasonal gap during the summer, when most students are away from school
- Short or no credit history
- Inexperience with timely rent payments
- Noise complaints resulting from excessive partying
If you are prepared to mitigate these risks ahead of time, you will be much more likely to reap the benefits of renting to college students.
2. Target your ideal tenants:
Maximize the size of your applicant pool by listing across multiple marketing channels and maintain a robust online presence. In all listings, be sure to include high-quality photographs (check out our article How to Take Rental Listing Photos to Wow Potential Tenants for more details). As well as a compelling description that highlights the property’s features, such as proximity to campus or rent that includes utilities. Be sure to include your own expectations as well, such as the security deposit, pet policy, and other important stipulations, to avoid answering the same questions from unqualified applicants.
3. Screen potential tenants
Employ the same screening process that you would apply to your other potential tenants, including asking for references from previous landlords or employers. You may also ask for proof of how they plan to pay their rent, such as pay stubs or bank statements. However, remember to use the same requirements for every tenant regardless of their background and follow the guidelines of the Fair Housing Act.
4. Require a co-signer
One of the biggest challenges that you will face when renting to college student tenants is an insufficient or non-existent credit history. Due to this factor, it may make it difficult to judge their reliability. Keep in mind that a full-time student will most likely not be making enough money to satisfy your typical income requirements. In this case, having a family member co-sign on the lease can be extremely beneficial. They can be held financially responsible in the case that the student does not pay their rent, so be sure to screen them according to the same criteria you use for your other applicants.
5. Establish firm and clear ground rules
If you choose to accept a college student as a tenant, be sure to clearly communicate the terms of the lease with them. For example, make it clear what the boundaries are regarding parties, overnight guests, and pets. Also, review the consequences that result from contract violations, such as late payment fees. If you firmly and clearly outline the ground rules, there will be fewer opportunities for miscommunication.
6. Manage everything online
College student renters are tech-savvy and will appreciate the convenience of handling their rental and bills online. Rentigo is revolutionizing the property management industry by digitizing the rental process. With Rentigo, you can implement game poker online rental payments, maintenance requests, mass messaging, and more to appeal to college-aged tenants AND save money and time!