5 Things That May Differ When Renting to College Students

By Elana Goodwin on July 30, 2017

Renting to college students can be a bit different from renting to non-college student tenants. While many of the rental aspects will stay the same, it’s good to know what kinds of things may be dissimilar so you can prepare in your dealings with your student renters.

Here are some things that may be different when renting a property to college students.

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

Leasing term. When renting to college students, it’s smart to keep in mind their tendency to go home during the summer — which means they’ll either want to rent a property for nine months or possibly get a subtenant to take over their lease for the time they’ll be home.

While you do not have to cater to their desire for a nine-month lease, you will want to be very clear when they sign the lease agreement that the duration of the lease is for 12 months, meaning they are still expected to pay the rent throughout the summer, even if they are not going to be living there.

If you would be amenable to them finding a subtenant and having them live in the rental property during the summer months, make sure the details of how they’d go about getting them on the lease and taking care of that on the up-and-up are readily available.

Co-signer. When you have college students as renters, you can and should require a co-signer or guarantor, which will usually be the student’s parent, to be listed on the rental agreement. This will offer you added security since many students have not really established a qualifying credit score or history.

Even if the student has enough of a credit and work history to be able to sign the rental lease on their own, you should still consider having them get a co-signer on their lease so you’re extra protected, which is something you wouldn’t necessarily do with a non-college student renter.

Clauses. Before renting to college students, you may want to throw a few key clauses into the lease agreement that you probably would not make other tenants agree to. Firstly, a “no party” clause can help protect you from excessive damages as your renters will not be allowed to have more than a certain number of people in their home. Make sure your college student renters understand what the “no party” clause entails, what the consequences are if they do throw a party, and that by signing the lease, they are legally agreeing to follow that clause.

Additionally, putting a joint lease clause into the rental agreement may be beneficial as well. This way, if one roommate decides to cut out on the lease early, each student roommate living there is still responsible for the full terms of the lease — meaning they are still accountable for paying that missing roommate’s share of the rent. This kind of equal share/one-for-all clause will force the college student renters to police each other and themselves so you don’t have to worry about being cheated on the rent or dealing with their drama.

Security deposit. For college student renters, you may want to consider charging a higher security deposit. Students living in a place of their own, especially for the first time, may be hard on your property — between spilled drinks, scuff marks, accidental holes, etc. — so it’s better to have them pay a bigger security deposit in the beginning than have to come after them for more money if need be.

Protect your rental house or apartment by making sure their security deposit will cover any damages they may cause that you will eventually have to fix — this way, it’ll be easier for you in the long run.

Expectations. For the most part, student renters are not all that fussy and do not have high expectations from property managers. The basic expectations that they’ll have are that you’re responsive to their problems, you’re available when they have questions or issues, you communicate any pertinent information to them in a timely manner, and you do a good job maintaining the property.

These expectations are probably not so different than those of non-student renters, with the exception that students may be more expectant of their problems being fixed quickly and you being available and responsive right when they contact you. Once the student renters have signed a lease with you, make sure you let them know what the best way to contact you is and promise to always respond within 24 hours.

Generally speaking, when renting to college students, you won’t encounter that many things that are different than when you rent to other people. However, keeping in mind the above differences and planning your dealings with student renters accordingly can save you hassle in the long run and make your relationships with college tenants go smoother and better for both of you.

By Elana Goodwin

Uloop Writer
Ohio State
I love reading, writing, and sweater weather. Also, dogs. That is all. Follow me on Twitter at @EllaRayy!

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