4 Challenges of Renting to College Students

By Tamiera Vandegrift on November 7, 2017

On one hand, college students might seem like the perfect residents. If you’re lucky enough to own a property that’s close to campus, there will always be a steady turnover rate of student tenants and as long as you’re willing and able to adapt to what college students need, you will continue to receive some pretty positive reviews.

College students typically rely on their parents to support their living arrangements, so they’re typically the owners of the lease or perhaps even the co-signer! College students are also new to living on their own, so they might be extremely afraid to break any of the terms of the lease or they might be out of their apartment so often that after they move, you might forget anyone lived there to begin with.

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However, no tenant is perfect. When it comes to renting to college students, you could potentially run into some problems. Keep reading to learn about some of the challenges you might face when renting to college students.

College students can be messy

Finding college students who have clean rooms is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Some students are used to their parents cleaning up after them, some are too lazy to clean, and some are simply too busy to keep a clean house. While this is definitely not the case for every college student, there is a pretty good chance that you might not be too pleased with what you see on one of your room inspections.

The deposit fee might be enough to motivate college students to keep their space clean and ready for the next person to move in, but there’s also the chance it won’t be, especially if they have an especially busy schedule. This problem can be avoided if you discuss your terms with your tenants from the beginning so they know exactly what is expected of them throughout their stay. After all, it is your property and you should have every say on how your property should be treated.

Image via: www.pexels.com

College students can be late with rent

College students have a lot of concerns and stresses on their back in terms of finances. With the costs of tuition, textbooks, club dues, groceries, and more, students are finding themselves tossed into a world of financial stress and responsibility that they weren’t ready to tackle. As a result, some of these financial responsibilities might slip through the cracks and that can include rent. Sympathy can only go so far; you need to have your rent payments delivered on time.

First, it is a good idea to require a co-signer for college students living at your property. If they miss a payment or the automatic deposit bounces, you can rest assured that the balance will be paid still. Second, you must stress the importance of on-time payments to your residents. The risk of being penalized with a late fee along with the rent can be an excellent source of motivation.

Overall, you must be clear about the expectations you have regarding rent and the consequences that follow if those expectations are not met.

Image via: www.pexels.com

College students can be needy

Keep in mind that college students were high school students not too long ago. Some students might see you as more of an RA or a parent than a property manager. Expect to be approached when college students have a complaint about their apartment’s functionality or their roommate’s habits.

If their roommate is having their significant other over too often or won’t do their dishes in a timely manner, you might hear an ear full about it. With that being said, college students can often be impatient. After all, they have technology at their fingertips that can give them the information they need in a matter of seconds. If they text you or email you around 9 a.m., they will expect an answer before the end of the day.

Be patient. These college students aren’t exactly sure about the boundaries between a property manager and a tenant. Again, they might be looking at you as an RA more than a landlord. Make it clear how they can contact you to reach you the fastest. Let them know, kindly, when the best times to reach you are and how long they will have to wait to hear a response from you.

College students are likely to contact you repeatedly if there is something wrong with the apartment itself, so make it clear if students are supposed to go through you to have their rooms fixed or if they need to find a professional service on their own. Communication is key.

Image via: www.pexels.com

College students come and go frequently

Unless college students live in the area or plan to live in the area, don’t expect them to stay in their space year after year. During holiday breaks, academic gaps, study abroad trips, and out-of-state internships, you will have to find another tenant to fill the space.

With such a high turnover rate, it becomes exceedingly difficult to deal with multiple tenants with different leases. In this scenario, you will have to spend a lot of time constantly finding new tenants to fill the gaps that the old tenants left behind. Sounds exhausting, right?

To save yourself some work, you can require your tenants to find an individual to sublet the space during the tenant’s absence. If you’re an independent, private owner of a property, you might want to think about enlisting the help of a property management company so that you don’t have to manage so much on your own.

Image via: www.pexels.com

With some of these challenges laid out for you, it will be easier to figure out what challenges you could face by renting to college students. Not all tenants are the same and not all college students will be a burden to your property.

However, there are always a few bad apples. Just make sure you communicate your expectations clearly and exercise patience and understanding. If you do, you’ll end up with a pretty sweet bunch.

By Tamiera Vandegrift

Uloop Writer
Florida State University
Tamiera is a senior at Florida State University, studying Editing, Writing & Media and Digital Media Production. When she's not geeking out about movies and puppy videos, she's on her way to a career in screenwriting, while working intensely to finish a few novels before graduation. Besides writing, Tamiera is otherwise obsessed with Coldplay, feminism, dystopian novels, and various types of junk food. She hopes to see one of her works on the silver screen and eventually finish an entire tube of Chapstick.

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