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College Town Rentals: The Pros and Cons

By: Property Management Pros

Those who own property in or around a college town should consider the investment opportunity of renting to college students. All colleges and universities have a yearly and a consistent flow of students looking for off-campus housing, and there are pros and cons to renting in this kind of community. For those who are interested, they should consider these pros and cons to see if renting out their property in a college town is the right.

Consistent flow of tenants:
In a college town, every year is a new year and a fresh batch of students looking for off campus housing. A high supply and high demand for your property at a competitive price ensures your property has a very good chance of a tenant.

Stable Rent:
Renting a property in a college town is not exactly the same as renting in a major city or town. Depending on your property’s location from campus and how large the college or university is, pricing for rentals can vary and are typically lower than average rental properties. Essentially, you’re collecting money from students piling up school debt and live off of ramen noodles, so check out renters around your area. Set a price that you’d be happy with and that fits within the limited budget of your demographic and it will get you tenants lining up at your door.

Saving on Advertising
The next best thing about renting in a college town is the minimal need for advertising. Word of mouth spreads fast in college towns so its not hard for a student to pass along their place to the next person without much effort on the property owner. With the constant percentage of students looking for housing every year, if advertising is required it’ll be for a short amount of time. Properties in college towns practically sell themselves.

Culture and Entertainment:
Renting your property close to campus is always good. But property that is close to popular college spots off of campus sell just as well. College towns can not only appeal to college students, but also other tenants that are looking for a spot with plenty of things to do.

Obviously, with some pros there are some cons to college town rental that all property owners should consider.

Short term relationships:
Renting your property to a college student can sometimes mean having to adapt to shorter term lease agreements. Student squabbles, money limitations, drop-outs, drugs, and reckless partying are just a few of the issues that can break a lease prematurely, which makes tenant turnover a regular thing. Property managers should be cautious of which tenants to accepts and It’s best to find a tenant who knows exactly what they intend on doing for the year and come to a concrete agreement in a lease.

Off season:
Since many students do move back and forth between home and college, it’s likely a renter could struggle to find tenants during the summer months. Most property managers require 12 month leases to ensure the off season months are paid for whether or not the tenant chooses to live there.

Wear and Tear:
Keep in mind that college tenants are notorious for being irresponsible and have no respect for the property with excessive drinking and parties. Theres a good chance your property will become damaged over time and lack of responsibility. If you’re the handy type of landlord you’re likely to be fixing broken doors and cabinets, holes in walls, and perhaps a window replacement or two.

Overall, renting property in a college town is for the active landlord. Property and tenants will require regular attention, so it is certainly not the task for the landlord to sit back and not think about their rental. If you’re the kind of landlord who likes the college town community, are good with handy jobs, and are looking for a quick fix to put a property to helpful use and make come money along the way renting property in a college town is just for you.

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