Renting to college students is relatively easy and predictable, but there are a few things you should know before you start renting to students.
The housing demand for college students is high at particular times of the year, which makes it easy to predict when you need to start marketing and renovating. Additionally, when a student likes a rental, they’re more likely to come back next school year, so you can guarantee consistent business. However, before you break out the ads, there are a few things landlords should know about renting to college students.
Your Property Needs To Be Student-Friendly
In order to make your property student-friendly, you need to make it durable and convenient. The most important thing that landlords need to know about renting to college students is that these young adults have likely never lived on their own, so you need to make the apartments student-friendly.
While you don’t have to spend large amounts of money buying top-of-the-line materials, using the cheapest materials possible may cost you more down the line. So be careful not to go with the cheapest appliances or carpets to save some money. Additionally, the property should be near the campus and around other necessities, such as grocery stores, laundromats, or public transportation. Keep in mind that students will also need good Wi-Fi to do their work and will want to live in a property that’s safe and secure.
It’s Illegal To Rent to Students Only
If you happen to only get student applications for your property, there’s nothing wrong with renting to them only. However, you can’t reject other applicants because they aren’t students. Doing so is a big violation of Fair Housing Laws, and surprisingly, these violations are the easiest and most common mistakes landlords make. FHA laws are complex and vary slightly based on location, so you need to be intimately familiar with them. There are ways to make your property more appealing to college students, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only applicants you’ll get.
Consider Requiring a Co-Signer
Renters designate their co-signers to take care of any missed payments. Co-signers function as a safety net for both you and the tenant. This ensures that you, as the landlord, get paid on time. However, if you require a co-signer for student applicants, you have to require a co-signer for every applicant. If you don’t, this is another violation of FHA laws that can get you into trouble. If you assume that they can’t be responsible enough to pay rent on their own simply because they’re a student, you’re discriminating against them based on their age.
Conduct Consistent Inspections
Remember that college students don’t often have the experience it takes to care for a home. To give them a helping hand and make sure your property isn’t in disarray, consider conducting inspections quarterly. Always make sure that someone is there during the inspection, and always give them adequate notice. After all, it’s illegal to come in unannounced. Care for and respect them the way you would any other tenant, give them the assistance they need, and you’ll be ready to rent to college students.