Renting to College Students

With the fall semester starting up once again at colleges across the country, some property managers are faced with a familiar annual dilemma: Should I rent to college students?

There are a lot of concerns right out of the gate when contemplating this step. For example:

Maturity. It’s nice to think of college students as responsible young adults, learning to make their way independently in the world, but in reality, college freshmen are a few months removed from high school seniors, and are still very young. That’s not to say that all college freshmen are immature, but it’s definitely a consideration.

Credit. Most college students have no credit history at all to check, so the property manager will need to have someone with good credit to co-sign the rental agreement, whether it’s one parent, both parents, or a legal guardian.

School year. It’s not always the case, but some college students are only interested in renting for the school year, usually September to May or June. If that’s the case, you might have to add in a sub-lease clause to the rental agreement, or arrange for a full year’s rent to be spread over a shorter time period.

Parties. It’s no secret that college students have parties, and those parties can get out of control fast, causing headaches for you, your other tenants, and the community. Rental agreements will have to be explicit regarding number of guests at any given time, noise regulations, and damages.

Still, all those considerations aside, the college crowd can be a financial windfall, and if word gets around that your property is college student-friendly, you can be sure that your vacancies won’t stay vacant long come September.

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