I am curious what the vacancy rate is on student housing. 2500 sqft that needs a lite rehab...could easily be turned into 8 bedrooms with 4 shared baths, and 2 kitchens, if i add the utilities, i can double my income...but if its vacant 6 months a yr...it wont work.
When my daughter was in college in UCLA, she had to sign yearly lease, not 6 month lease.
@Stephan Haas I just graduated from college myself, and I was required to sign a 1-yr lease for my apartment. So I guess the issue would instead be, is it going to be rented or vacant for 1 year? It also depends on the demand for student housing in the area, the structure of the lease (are utilities included in rent, etc.) and how many bedrooms each unit as. Lots to factor in.
Everything that I have seen with student housing has been 12 month leases. However I am not sure if there is a different rate to use for vacancy. Had a friend do this and what worked against him was the local university had changed its rules regarding living off campus because they had recently built a building for housing and wanted more students to stay in the housing that was on campus. Not sure that this applies to you but thought I would share to save some one else from same mistake.
Its very market specific. In our area some houses rent every year and others have a rough time. If you don't get someone at the beginning of the year it is hard to get them in an off semester listing. Here there are specific neighborhoods the students like to live in. I think it was similar at Penn State but UMass varies there were few good rentals near my sons school the university had the only decent apartment housing. I like renting a whole house not rooms. Sounds like your looking at a room situation. Vacancy will differ if you rent by the room. Some towns limit the number of unrelated people who can live together, be very aware of any student targeted ordinances before you move forward. We have a party and noise ordinance.
From what I've seen, a 12 month lease is traditional. In the situation you are describing, I would have one lease that all parties agree to (sign). One payment, not eight or more. It is up to the tenants to come up with a group to fill that space or have enough people to pay the expected monthly rent. Turn time is typically two weeks in the summer (Anne Arbor area). Look into rental rates in the area to be competitive. Good luck!
When deciding upon the lease term you may want to look into the laws and guidelines surrounding rental lease terms in your state. Here in Florida, a lease must be 7 months or longer for tax and other reasons. Any leases under 7 months are considered vacation rental leases and stand in an entirely different bracket all together when it comes to taxes, laws, etc.
You also need to look at the insurance. Many insurance companies wont cover short term boarders like you have.
Like most people have been saying, student leases run for 12 months. This is what I've seen in California.
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