We've all heard horror stories of students destroying a rental and breaking leases. I wanted to find out if students are really such bad tenants, directly from landlords and property managers who are in the student rental game. I interviewed a dozen landlords and a handful of property managers, and the result? Almost all of them said that they love their student tenants and strongly believe that in a lot of cases, students make the best possible tenants! Here are 5 reasons that came up again and again on why students are such a golden demographic.
1. Higher Rents
As a landlord, I’m sure one of your goals is to maximize your profits on your rentals. When you rent to students, you may be able to get the maximum amount possible in rent and gain a few extra hundred dollars. That is because oftentimes students live with roommates, so they split the rent two, three or even fourways. For example, a 4-bedroom property that you could rent to the general public for $2000 could easily be rented for $2200 to four students, each assuming only $550 of the rent. When a student is browsing for houses, they don’t see a $200 price difference, but only a $50 difference on what they will personally have to pay.
2. Secured Payments
Generally speaking, students looking for rentals are either about to leave their parents’ homes or have moved out within the past two years. Due to this lack of experience and still strong relationship with their parents, it is easy, and even expected, that you may ask for a Guarantor to co-sign the lease. A guarantor will afford you extra peace of mind, in case the student cannot make the monthly rent, they have a working parent who can cover for them. Unlike a typical working renter, even if the student loses their job, they still have someone to lean on to cover their payment, which means, steady and uninterrupted cashflow for you!
A typical renter often relies on their job to pay for rent, which can be lost at any time. Students sometimes pay rent with accumulated savings or student loans. Having a large amount prepared ahead of time, they have the luxury of being able to pay for a whole semester (4-months) or even the whole school year (8-12months) all at once.
3. They actually make great tenants
This may seem like the opposite of the truth, but the reality is that the stories of students ruining properties are exaggerated and the reality is that most students are actually really good tenants. Students who are looking for off-campus housing are likely coming in from out of town, province and country. Those willing to make such a big move are often serious about school, and spend most of their time at the library or when at home, they’re deep in their books. Unlike the popular idea of students partying every weekend, they actually are either rarely home, or when they are, they are studying for hours on end, and throughout most weekends.
4. Easily fill vacancies
This applies especially if your property is in an ideal location for a student, i.e. near campus, walking distance to a transit stop/station and near essential amenities such as grocery stores.
Many post-secondary institutions do not offer on-campus residence, and when they do, they often are expensive and force students to lower their living standards. Because of this, thousands, and sometimes, ten of thousands of students are looking for off-campus housing every year. This high demand makes it easy to fill vacancies and contributes to higher rents in desirable locations.
Careful though, setting the rent too high can lead to your property being left vacant, and because the demand for housing is cyclical, you may face a vacancy until near the beginning of the following school term.
Furthermore, word of mouth is strong in the student community. If your property is desirable, you will not have a hard time filling vacancies with friends or acquaintances of existing/past tenants. You must still thoroughly screen your prospective tenants to ensure you are choosing those who are likely to pay their rent on time and cause the least amount of problems.
5. They are satisfied with less
Students don’t care whether the countertops are laminates or granite, nor do they care about the type of flooring you have throughout the house. Students are on the hunt for a clean and affordable place where they can feel comfortable and study in peace. For you, this means, your home does not need to have the best features in order to attract quality tenants or fill vacancies; as long as the place is well maintained and is affordable, you shouldn’t have a hard time finding good student tenants.
How Elev can help you:
Screen: View prospective a tenant’s profile and reviews from their references and previous landlords, before you even have to schedule a viewing
Sign: Digital standard lease signing: simple and efficient digital lease signing for tenants coming from out of town. Keep and refer back to your lease any time from your phone or computer.
Pay: Automated rent payment: tenants link their bank account and rent is automatically deducted every month
All paperwork —leases, notices, rent roll, payment log etc.— is all in one place
Guarantor and backup payment method: students can easily add a guarantor to co-sign their lease and provide a backup payment method
Regular check ups on your property to ensure the lawn is cut, snow removed and property generally well maintained.
Receive and manage all maintenance requests all in one place
Subletting is simplified to one click, so your tenants can easily find someone to pay their rent during the summer months
And many more features! Learn More
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