Should You Rent To College Students – The Advantages And Disadvantages

As a landlord, you hope to find tenants who will pay rent on time and respect your property. With good tenants, you can be sure you’ll turn a profit with little effort. At first glance, college students don’t fit the bill. They have a reputation for being destructive, disrespectful, and careless about paying bills on time – all of which make for bad renters. 

With that said, though, college students make up a large demographic to rent to. More than 19 million young adults signed up for college classes in 2019, with many of them needing to rent someplace to lay their heads – at least temporarily during the school year. That’s a lot of rental income potential, so should you rent to college students? Let’s look at the facts. 

Advantages of Renting to College Students

  • Rental properties are in high demand near college campuses – If your rental property is located in a college town, you’ll likely get at least one application from a college student. Your property will be in high demand, with many students looking to lock down housing at least a year in advance. And since most students stick around for more than one year, you’ll likely not need to look for new tenants for a while. 
  • Lower marketing budget – Marketing to college students is simple and cheap. All you need to do is print off a few flyers and put them around town to be inundated with applications. 
  • Higher rental incomes – Rental properties near college campuses often garner higher rental incomes. Students who have lived on campus are used to paying higher costs for housing, and rental properties near campuses usually get up to 30 percent more for monthly rent than properties located elsewhere. 
  • Lower expectations – College students aren’t known for having high living standards, so you can get away with not making major upgrades like you would have to with other demographics. 

Disadvantages of Renting to College Students

  • Inexperienced tenants – College students are young and inexperienced when it comes to renting, which means you may have to deal with property damage and the like. 
  • Few vetting resources – Because college students have few life experiences, they lack resources for vetting them like work history, credit history, etc. 
  • Higher turnover – Unfortunately, college rentals experience high tenant turnover thanks to the nature of college life. Many college students only need to rent during the school year, returning home during their off months. 
  • Strict standards for renting to college students – You may need to apply to your local county office to find out if you’re able to rent to students or not. 

As you can see, although renting to college students often gets a bad rap, doing so might be more advantageous for you than you thought. Yes, college students can be irresponsible, but if your lease spells out the consequences for all types of irresponsible behavior, you can come out ahead when renting to college students.