Renting to college students brings certain challenges

If you live near a college or university, you’ve likely wondered if you should buy a rental property near campus and rent it out to college students. Here are some of the top benefits and risks associated with renting to college students to help make your decision easier.

Benefits of Renting to College Students

You don’t have to worry about not getting your rent check.

College students don’t usually miss payments. That’s because their student loans, college fund, or parents are usually footing the bill.

You can rent by the bedroom and make more money.

College rentals are usually done by the bedroom rather than by the unit. By-the-bedroom rentals are easier for students and more profitable for you. This also means that if you have any potential to convert additional spaces into bedrooms, you can earn an even higher profit.

You can easily get extra security by asking parents to co-sign.

Most experienced college-town landlords ask parents to co-sign on the rental contract. It’s a good idea to offer a discount to students who get their parents to co-sign.

You’ll rarely deal with extended vacancies or have trouble finding a tenant.

Since there are thousands of students pouring into your town to attend college, it’s easy to find prospective tenants. If one student leaves, another will quickly take their place.

Your rent prices will be stable.

College towns tend to have stable rent prices due to the high demand for housing near campus.

Risks of Renting to College Students

You might end up with irresponsible young tenants.

This is the risk that everyone is worried about: ending up with tenants who host wild parties and trash your property, or kids who just don’t care about cleaning and maintenance.

You’ll likely have to deal with subleases or vacancies during the summer.

Many college students leave town during breaks. Some of them will want to sublease to other students who are staying there for the summer, which can cause problems for landlords.

You’ll have fairly high turnover.

College students don’t stick around forever. You might have the odd student who stays in your place for the whole duration of their college career, but in many cases, students will live there for less than a year.

The Verdict

Screening is key! Screen college students like you’d screen any tenant. Try to weed out the partiers and go with the serious, responsible students. Add extra securities to your lease, like having parents co-sign, and you should be fine. As you can see, there are way more benefits than there are risks.

This doesn’t mean that renting to college students is for everyone. It might end up causing too much stress and worry for you, and if that’s the case, focus on other demographics. However, if you live near a college or university, we strongly encourage giving renting to college students a chance!

Do you have experience with renting to college students that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!

2 COMMENTS

  1. All very good points! I wonder which college campus is the most profitable for an investor. I’m sure there are some that stand out more than others. For example, I think Ohio State has one of the largest campuses in the country.

  2. Campus housing can be a great niche for investing. It’s very competitive, and very different than owning regular rental housing, but if done right, can be very rewarding.

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