If you own an investment property in Southwest Florida, there's a chance that college students might be interested in your rental. Nearby Universities such as FGCU, FSW (Collier and Lee Campus), Hodges, Keiser among others reside right here in Southwest Florida. That means thousands of students are looking for a rental home. Understandably, you might have some concerns about renting out your investment home to college students.
In this blog, we'll discuss five common concerns investment property owners have about college students renting their property and provide solutions to each concern!
Concerns and Solutions
- No Rental, Credit or Employment History: Most college students don't have any real experience with rentals or paying debt, so screening them might be a challenge. However, you can get an idea of their character by calling their references. If they have been kicked out of student housing, this can be viewed as the same as an eviction.
Solution: Something you can do is require a consigner if the student has an insufficient credit history. This will make them responsible for paying rent and covering any damages. Be sure to screen the cosigner as well to help ensure he/she is a credible person who will be true to their lease.
- Inexperience Maintaining a Property: When you have a young, inexperienced tenant in your investment property, there's a chance they will be dirty and messy, which could attract rodents and pests. They might not prioritize reporting minor maintenance issues, which could turn into major problems.
Solution: This is where it's important to use the security deposit to your advantage to protect yourself against any damages. Verbiage that requires the tenants to report damage immediately can help. Easy access portals where they can submit maintenance requests and pay rent will make this easy for them. Also, conduct an initial walk-through and conduct an inspection every 4-6 months giving the tenant 24 hours advanced notice (Note this in the lease).
- No Rental Payment Experience: Part of the college experience is learning how to manage money. That being said, most students still have a lot to learn. They might not save enough to put towards rent or simply forget to pay. Even if the parents are sending money for rent, there's no guarantee the student will pay rent in a timely manner.
Solution: An electronic payment system, in addition to sending a payment reminder can help the student stay on top of things. Adding a clause that states everyone on the lease is held "jointly and severally liable" for paying rent will prevent one roommate from prioritizing something else ahead of rental payments. Charging the maximum security deposit can help protect your bottom line as well.
- Noise Complaints: Fortunately, most college students aren't as loud and rambunctious as you might think. You might even luck out and never have to deal with a noise complaint from your student tenants. But there are some instances where college students can get loud, especially when you are renting to a bunch of roommates.
Solution: Make sure you add a clause to your lease that enforces quiet hours to keep your neighbors happy. Also, anything you can think of that might seem obvious, but not uncommon for college student behavior, such as jumping out of windows/balconies or lighting fireworks should be added to the lease to ensure you are covered in case things get out of hand.
- Frequent Turnover and Summer Vacancies: Since the majority of college courses are held in the spring and fall semesters, that leaves a big vacancy in the summer months. There isn't a guarantee that housing plans and funding will be the same from year to year.
Solution: If filling your rental in summer months is an issue, offer perks for repeat tenants or referrals. You can also try offering year-long leases with discounts in the summer months.
Reed Property Management
By becoming your investment property manager, we can help ensure your rental is in good hands. We will be conducting the background search, initial walk-through of the property, and property inspections, which will take a tremendous load off of your shoulders.
If you have any additional questions or concerns about renting to college students, don't hesitate to contact Reed Property Management!