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Monday, July 6, 2020  
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4 Reasons to Rent to College Students

Tali Wee of Zillow Tali Wee is a DIY, home improvement and finance writer at Zillow.com.

College campuses consist of a wide variety of rental properties, from high rises to multi-family homes. Each year, students must solidify their living arrangements in order to finish their schooling. When one class graduates, hundreds of new potential leaseholders move into town. It may be intimidating at first, but renting out space to students comes with unassuming benefits.

Review these four factors to understand the advantages of college-town property management.

1. High Demand

College students need somewhere to live every school year, so there’s guaranteed demand in college towns. Many students choose to live off-campus for lower priced accommodations. Most of the properties close to academic buildings and nightlife fill up quickly. Rental properties in prime locations generate higher interest and are able to charge more rent. If a property is more than walking distance from campus, the landlord should consider installing a bike rack or including parking in the price of rent. Students who live farther from school weigh these amenities heavily, as they are more likely to need transportation to and from class.

2. Low Expectations

For most students, college is the first time they are looking to rent apartments. Their lack of experience makes it much easier for landlords to enforce guidelines without a struggle. Seasoned renters are more likely to negotiate price and demand perks. Avoid complicated requests by marketing rooms and homes to people who aren’t fully aware of their bargaining power. However, don’t mistake renting to new students as an opportunity to take advantage of managerial control. Treat all tenants with the same respect and punctuality to ensure a positive renting experience.

3. Wider Advertising

There are a variety of places to advertise a college rental. The student paper, university website, housing departments, online classifieds and tools with users across the United States like Zillow are resources for greater exposure. Not only are there more mediums to advertise rentals on college campuses, but the word-of-mouth potential is unparalleled to non-college rentals. This is another reason to avoid the temptation of exploiting young leaseholders. A slumlord is more likely to get a widely-known bad reputation in a tight community.

4. Upfront Dues

Some college students rely on their parents to help support them throughout their years of education. Therefore, rent is likely paid by the tenants’ parents on time and in full every month. Some parents may choose to pay the full nine or 12-month leases in advance. This guarantees no late payments, which also means the landlord doesn’t have to keep track of certain tenants throughout the year. Consider offering this as an option to all renters during the lease agreement period.

Landlords renting to college students should also collect higher damage deposits from their tenants. Although it’s a stereotype that doesn’t apply to all college students, some throw parties that result in excessive wear and tear on the property.  Requesting a larger refundable deposit upfront protects the landlord from potentially expensive upgrades required before leasing the property in the future.

Don’t overlook an investment property because it happens to be located in a college town. While college rentals pose their fair share of noise complaints or wear and tear, there are also added benefits to working with young renters.

This entry was posted in Financial Planning, Mortgages, Student Loans. Bookmark the permalink. Read more articles by Tali Wee of Zillow. (Also see articles by all authors and articles in all categories.)



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