With the fall season quickly approaching, it’s time for many young people to start preparing for the upcoming school year – and for college and university students, this can mean finding a place to live on or around campus.
Although there are some investment property owners who flat out refuse to rent to the college crowd, opening up your properties to this particular niche can actually end up to be fairly profitable – especially if you mitigate risk up front.
For example, because college students oftentimes have no employment or credit history, it can be highly beneficial to require either a co-signer or guarantor on the lease. That way, there will be someone else who is both financially and legally obligated to make the rent payments, as well as to cover the cost of items that may become damaged.
In doing so, be sure that you pre-screen both the student / resident, and the person (or persons) who will be acting as the tenant’s co-signer. This screening process should ideally include doing a credit and background check, and obtaining references.
It can also be beneficial if you collect the maximum amount of security deposit. Typically, the state housing laws will dictate how much a landlord is allowed to charge for this. The higher deposit can help if the tenant (and / or the co-signer) stops making rent payments, as well as if there are damages to your property. You should also be sure to spell out all of the rules of the property in the lease. That way, everyone will be on the “same page,” so to speak, right from the start.
While taking these extra steps may be somewhat time consuming, there are ways that you can minimize the amount of time that you personally spend on them. One way is to hire a property manager.
A good property manager will provide you with a number of time-saving services, such as rent collection, lease negotiation and renewals, and property maintenance. For more information on how a property manager can make your life easier, contact us.