If you own a rental property in a small college town or a city home close to many universities, chances are, you may encounter students seeking off-campus housing. The college rental market is unique with its own set of advantages and special considerations, and requires a detailed plan for maximizing your success as a successful college student landlord.
Here are some tips for renting your property to college students:
1) Extensive Screening Process: When it comes to leasing a property to a college student, background check for renters is indispensable. It will help you weed out unreliable tenants and help you lessen both the potential risk and future liability. Effective rental history report helps you get a detailed report on the tenant’s history, criminal records, sex offense records, terrorism charges, and much more.
As you will be dealing with young students and mostly minors, also ensure that you obtain a rental history report for any co-signers as well before you offer the lease of your property.
2) Find Co-signers: If your potential tenant is a minor, it is required by law to add parents as cosigners. However, it is in your best interest to recruit parents as cosigners even if the student is not a minor. Young students usually struggle to be financially independent and lack credit history, so having a co-signer will give you a safety cushion if something goes wrong.
3) Prepare a Customized Lease: Make sure that you have an iron-clad lease that includes all the special clauses aimed at young tenants. Hire a real estate attorney to draw up a customized lease agreement that includes all the special clauses that address occupancy rules, party rules, rent policy, and so forth. Also, it might be a good idea to ask parents or guardians to co-sign the lease for additional safety.
4) Set Clear Ground Rules: Although you may have already listed all the house rules in your lease agreement, it’s always a good idea to make a laminated cheat sheet of the rules that you can post in the house. The more clear and visible the rules are, the harder it will be for your young tenants to claim that they have forgotten or are unaware of the rules. These rules might include rules for throwing a party, subletting to friends, and handling damages to the property.
5)Design for Young Tenants: Remember, renting property to college students is not exactly the same as renting to retirees, thus it’s a good idea to design your space keeping young people in mind. This means providing ample space to store things if you plan to lease to multiple students. Also, it’s a good idea to opt for sturdy flooring materials that are strong, durable, easy to clean, and easy to replace.
Renting to college students is usually a safe bet, as each student will likely have planned their yearly rent with the help of their family. By following the guidelines above and conducting background checks for renters and cosigners, you can navigate through the most challenging parts of renting to college students with ease.