We recently purchased a 35,000 sqft student housing complex right across the street from a Big Ten university. The property is professionally managed and the management company is well respected and diligent.
I remember the college years, living in dorms, etc and I understand that college students aren't always very self-aware. Like most all property management companies, the property managers have employees on call 24/7 to handle emergencies etc. It seems that with the new batch of students coming in, there have been numerous noise complaints, which are billed to me at $55 (one man-hour) per incident. Last month the noise complaints were $400+ and it has been a couple of hundred bucks a month since the beginning.
How do other student housing owners (with managers) handle this? Does this just go with the territory or is there something else that can be done? My first thought was to implement a fine, but for that, you'd need to catch the culprit in the act. Evicting a student in Michigan is expensive and time-consuming. Any ideas would be appreciated!
Send notices to the students about the noise complaints and fine them $60 per incident. That should cover the fees. If students aren't being warned/fined, they will keep it up.
@Matthew Orton great point about college students not being self aware, I would email them directly regarding the manner or have your staff reach out to the person that filed the complaint and they could point you to the right direction and leaving their name out of it. Upping the fine as well could be a good strategy. Good luck!
@Matthew Orton I've been doing student rentals for 15+ years and the only thing that I've found that can sway difficult student behavior is through a fine. IMO that fine needs to be more than $55. That's not enough to sway behavior.
@Matthew Orton if the same units are still creating problems after receiving and paying the fines the fines have not generated enough pain to stop the issue. I would suggest bumping the fee $10 and test that fine structure out. If the same units are still being fined and paying then bump the fine yet again. You need to find a price point at which the pain is significant enough that a warning is enough. How quickly you can do this will depend on how your leases are written. Contact your management professionals and they should be able to assist.
Thank you all for your input. I appreciate it!