Renting properties in college towns can come with a ton of advantages. New students every semester provide a large pool of prospective residents and the high demand for properties in this location allows rent prices to stay stable. However, there are a few major challenges that can also present themselves.
College students might miss out on payments
Most college students have never had to pay bills before, and so they are not used to having to budget their money. While many students have the financial support of their parents or financial aid, some students are financially responsible to pay for their rent. This can result in rent not being paid on time, or not being paid in full.
It is important to remind your residents when signing their lease of their responsibility to pay rent on time. Setting in place penalties such as extra fees for late rent can be a good motivator for students to get everything in on time. Communicating with your residents digitally through email or text is a great way to send out your reminders, as college students in the modern era spend lots of time on their phones and preferred to be contacted this way. Our automated notifications make sending text and phone message reminders super easy. Sending your notices digitally helps ensure that students will read them, leading to a lesser chance of a missed payment.
College students (and their parents) require more care
For a large majority of college students, this is their first time living away from home. This means that they are most likely not familiar with the relationship between a resident and a landlord, leading them to contact you for all minor occurrences that a landlord normally wouldn’t deal with. Student renters can be naïve and inexperienced.
On top of that, when you rent to a college student, you also rent to their parents. It is common for parents with children in college to be overprotective and worried, which can lead to a flood of emails or phone calls on their child’s behalf. Students and parents always expect a contact to be on site.
It is important to make sure all parties are clear on expectations. The best strategy for dealing with students and their parents is by interacting with them in a proactive and timely manner and doing your best to keep them informed of any issues that arise. Remember to be patient and communicate with your residents!
Extracurricular activities can lead to damaged property and annoyed neighbors
One of the most exciting parts about college is having the freedom to do what you want and stay out as late as you want. Many college students go out on the weekends and even during the week, resulting in disorderly conduct and noise at all hours of the night.
If your residents are hosting crazy house parties, there’s a very good chance that your property will experience some type of damage. Similarly, parties lead to noise, and as a property manager you most likely have other residents living near campus who are older and even have families. This can lead to some very unhappy residents.
Requiring a security deposit from your residents is one preventative step you can take. A security deposit is a sum of money given to the landlord that ensures that rent will be paid, and other responsibilities of the lease are upheld (such as paying for damage caused by the resident). The laws for security deposits vary statewide, so it is important to research what your state’s laws are.
It is also a good idea to invest in an appliance repair service that is accessible to both you and students. This will help to minimize any sustained damage, and residents can call this service when they have a broken oven or air conditioning unit, instead of calling you.
They have a high turnover rate
College students frequently move, which means there is a constant in and out of residents. Numerous factors contribute to students moving, such as graduating, transferring schools in the middle of the year, studying abroad, and even dropping out, so you never have a real guarantee of how long your properties will be filled. The good news is that housing is usually in high demand near colleges and vacancies will fill up fast. However, you may experience times where your properties are vacant for a period.
Be prepared for a high turnover, but also remember that your units will more than likely fill up fast.