Investing in Student Housing – Tips for Leasing to Students

It’s back to school season, and millions of college students will be returning to school in the next Water Heater Making Noise weeks. One way to invest in real estate is by buying properties and leasing to students. It makes good sense – students need places to live, and with proper screening, will generally be respectable tenants. You also know you will always have a steady base to draw from. There are a few things that are unique to the process, so read on to learn more about how to lease an apartment or house to college students.

Having a house or apartment building to rent near a college campus is an ideal money maker and will not require much in the way of marketing. Just being there and announcing if you have a vacancy will be enough, even when you have set high standards. Despite the images you might have of rowdy college tailgating parties or worse, many students are truly there for the education, and they work hard at both their studies and their jobs to make it through.

You will always have a ready supply of potential tenants, making it possible for you to be choosy about whom you rent or lease to. Just remember that you will have high turnover every year, and that you might not have any renters during the summer months, so you will need to plan accordingly. As such, you can’t have terms that require a one-year lease. The terms will need to be unique to the college’s schedule. If you do have students who will be there year-round or who come in for summer school, you can always have summer-only leases. Keep in mind that you will likely need to do some maintenance in the off-season, and that will need to be planned for in your lease terms.

Where you are situated often dictates how much you can charge. Being near campus or at least near the athletic fields means you can charge a premium, while being located a ways away means you need to be more budget-friendly.

Now to be sure, some college students feel the need to reenact scenes from ‘Animal House’. When that happens, you will need to be sure you have drafted documents that will protect you from losing money as a result. You can also charge a larger security deposit than you might charge a more mature renter. That deposit can help defray the costs of any repairs or unpaid rent you may incur. You can also ask for a co-signer like a parent or other responsible adult. Be sure that whatever terms you come up with, get the lease signed by everyone who will be living there. This gives you the ability to ensure that everyone is responsible for the rent and for taking good care of the property while living there.

You needn’t fear renting your property to college students. Just take a few moments to make sure your documents meet their needs, as well as yours, and that you take out some extra protections to keep yourself from any financial harm. You might just find that this is a great investment after all.

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