Thoughts on college students as tenants?

10 Replies

Hello everyone, as some of you may know at this point I'm in the process of seeking out my first deal.  Like other newcomers I plan to owner occupy a multi using the fha program.

I've recently decided that I'm willing to move a lot farther than I was initially so long as I get a deal that works, and that has me looking at an area that I was not initially considering: New Haven, CT.  

I like the idea of investing there because I recently learned that it has one of the highest occupancy rates in the state.  Also, I already have a good grasp of the area because I went to school there (SCSU)

That however, is one of my biggest concerns about the area.  It is very likely that I would end up renting to college students as there are four schools in the area: SCSU, Quinnipiac, UNH, and Yale.

While I wouldn't be too concerned about Yale students wrecking things, I'm not too sure about the other three.  Also, even if I do my screening properly and get good tenants, I'm still concerned there would be at least some vacancy due to they cycles of school.

Anyone weighing in on this concern would be greatly appreciated.  Am I just over thinking things?  Can anyone share any experiences of renting to college students?

My thoughts on this are it depends on the student. Nice thing about students is someone else is paying there rent. Whether it's there parents, a college fund, or a student loan the fact is its a steady income that pays the rent.

I went to college and was the party type so I like to think I would know one when I saw one. The screening process would be key. Ask them what there are majoring in. If it's a tough program chances are they are taking there studies seriously. I also like to think that girls are more mature than men. It's actually a known fact. That said they are more likely to handle there finances better and keep the noise levels down. They are also cleaner too. Well ....most anyway. Bottom line would be to not exclude because of the simple fact that they are a student. Screen them like anyone else and you might be surprised.

In most cases, it's a simple thing to get the parents of the college student to co-sign on the (ironclad) rental/lease agreement.  In fact, you can offer a discount for an agreement that is secured by a solvent co-signer.  For example, if your target rent is $400/month, have your $425/month contract offer a $25/month discount for having a solvent non-resident co-signer.

Students will be harder on the property.  You should get yearly leases and have parent co-sign and harden the rentals for the inevitable damages.  Rents are higher than non-student rentals, as I well know.

Thank you everyone, I recently graduated so I think I can still spot the party students from the serious ones.  I think it will be a good idea to spend some time learning more about the screening process. 

I have several properties leased to college students in a small town. I have never had a problem with any of them destroying anything. Most students who want off campus lodging are usually working and are more interested in their studies than partying.I have had parents co-sign on the lease and the rental app has places for their information. Leases are for 1 year and some students leave with several months left on the lease however they continue to send the monthly lease payment. I have one house right behind my residence leased to students and you would never know they are there.

In our area, rental properties marketed to the students are actually rented by the bedroom, not the unit. Much higher return even if upkeep is slightly higher.

Alright I'm hearing a lot of "get the parents to cosign" which sounds like a fantastic idea to me!  Also, @James Miller your input about off campus students being less likely to be the party type is very comforting to me, thank you!  I'm going to keep all of this in mind in case I do end up investing in this area!

@David Krulac is right.. Have their parents co-sign.  I have a College Student rental with walking distance from UVA and the property management company gets the parents involved.

Hello @Blake Williams

I work with landlords who rent their properties to students, and sometimes it is hard to tell whether they will be responsible or not. But a few things lanlords always do here in NYC is to get their parents sign the leases and I am talking about 1-year leases, and the parents have to make 80xrent in order to qualify. They also create additional riders to the lease to enforce the rules not covered by a standard NYS lease and collect extra security. Hope that helps.

This was just the information I was looking for.  

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here