Damage Control: 5 Tips for Renting to College Students

renting to college studentsIf you own a rental property near a university, odds are your tenants will be college students. With room and board costs rising 2.5%-3% a year, students are looking for more affordable living situations.

Renting to college students can be hit-or-miss. Some come home to hit the books and to sleep. These students present a very low risk.

On the other hand, you have students who like to turn their house into the go-to place for partying. College parties are anything but ideal for a landlord. A house full of drink-fueled college students very rarely ends well!

So how can you rent to college students while reducing your risk as the homeowner?

Keep reading for advice on renting to college students.

5 Tips for Renting to College Students

Here are 5 things to keep in mind before handing over the keys to young tenants. Managing college-aged renters can be a challenge, so start off with these tips.

1. Conduct thorough screening

When screening new tenants, a background check is a must. Background checks are useful for weeding out risky and unreliable tenants. You’ll also want to run a credit check.

These checks will reduce your risk of accepting a low-quality renter. When running background checks, keep an eye out for:

  • Criminal records
  • Low credit score or poor credit history
  • Any court trials involving rental issues

You will want to run the same checks on any co-signers as well.

2. Set ground rules

Your lease lists what is and what isn’t allowed on the premises. While this protects you legally, odds are your tenants aren’t reading every single bullet.

To ensure your young renters understand the rules, offer them a printout. Provide a printed sheet of forbidden actions.

Don’t hesitate to be up front with your rules. Even the silliest of things should be listed. College students are out to have fun, and often they act before speaking.

Ensure your tenants know the rules by providing them in a clear manner. A face-to-face discussion can also help to reduce rule questions.

3. Consider parents as co-signers

Parent co-signers lessen the risk of young tenants. Many college students struggle to maintain well paying jobs. Others have little to no credit history, which makes them high-risk.

With parents as co-signers, there is a safety cushion. If the renters can’t pay, you can fall back onto the parents to foot the bill.

4. Hold prospects accountable

Some college students have their parents call potential rentals. Avoid these tenants!

A responsible and reliable tenant will be mature enough to make these calls. If a tenant isn’t mature enough to pick up the phone, can you rely on him to pay the rent each month?

Find tenants who are accountable from the get-go.

5. Ensure your home is young tenant friendly

Young tenants have different needs than your average tenant. College-aged students will need high-speed Internet access. The entire home should offer wireless connectivity.

It may also be ideal to:

  • Replace flooring with durable but inexpensive material
  • Paint walls with a semi-gloss paint, which is durable and easy to clean

With these tips, renting to college students will go much more smoothly!

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