Anyone who has been to college and lived in the dorms will tell you that after a year with a bad roommate, any college student would be happy to rent a property away from campus with their friends. This is a great alternative for college students who may find that housing is cheaper and they get more for their money, like a living room, kitchen, and yard. That being said, landlords tend to get scared when they get a phone call from a group of college kids looking for a tour of the property. As with any tenants, there are risks and benefits. At Gavish Property Management, we weighed the pros and cons of renting to college students so you don’t have to.
Before we get into it, let’s look at what most college students really want in a rental. You’ll find that there are some aspects that you can use to your advantage right off the bat.
College and University course work is pretty much a full-time job for most college students. College students tend to not work very much as a result. Consequently, they aren’t too keen on spending what income they do make on commuting to school.
As mentioned, college students may not work very much due to their course load. This means that rent will need to be affordable. This also means that the rental doesn’t need to have luxury upgrades and amenities that a family would care about.
College Housing Is Always in High Demand – The good thing about renting to college students is that student housing is in high demand. When dorms fill up, the waitlisted students tend to look for an apartment, townhouse, or home to rent for the year.
Roommates – The benefit of renting to tenants with roommates is that you can charge higher rent while not burdening the tenants with a higher rent. For example, four people each paying $500 a month is less burdensome than one individual paying $1,500 on their own.
Parents Financial Support – This is a pro and con, but mostly a pro. College students tend to have no rental history or credit when they are starting out. What they do have are parents who can cosign a lease or cover their rent entirely.
No Credit or Rental History – Especially when they are 18 and 19, college students are just starting out and their credit and rental history might reflect that. The good news is that parents tend to step in and help out where they can.
Noise Complaints – Remember being in college and staying up late every weekend, getting really loud, and dare I say… throwing parties? Well, it still happens and unless you get lucky, your tenants will get a few noise complaints called in on them. This is something that you need to consider especially if your home is in an HOA or gated community and you as the owner may be on the hook for these.
So the verdict? Should you really be as afraid of renting to college students as many landlords are?
The short answer is no, of course not. College students can make up a significant amount of the tenants that you will encounter, especially if your property is located near a college campus. While they are young and only starting out, you can ask that they have a cosigner on the lease who is more responsible and who you can trust will be accountable for their child.