Close to 6% of the US population are college students, which amounts to nearly 20 million people. Many of these people will need a place to live while they attend college, and it is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of renting to this group. It is important to understand this type of property and the market for it before you get involved. Take a look at the ins and outs of renting to college students.

Benefit: High Demand

One benefit of this market is that there is always a demand for this type of property. On average around 44% of the undergraduates live off campus. This can be a lot of people looking for a place to live. This demand has been consistent over time.

You might see small changes in rent prices, but there is a constant demand, which means that you won’t have trouble finding tenants. Even when you have someone leave, there will be more who want to rent.

Risk: Property Damage

One of the risks of renting to college students is that you may deal with noise complaints, lack of maintenance on property, or greater wear and tear. However, you can reduce your risks in several ways. 

You can screen your tenants, check their references, and require parental contact for college students. Make sure that students know to call you when there are small plumbing or electric problems so that you can repair them. You can also require that they carry renter’s insurance.

Benefit: Lower Expectations

Most college students are living on their own for the first time, and their needs are different from those of a family. They are more willing to overlook some issues, such as the quality of the flooring or tile in the bathrooms, and other things that standard renters will expect.

You need to keep your property maintained, but you don’t need to buy the highest-end appliances and amenities, as students are more concerned with how close the property is to campus.

Risk: Turnover Rate

When you rent to college students, you are going to deal with a higher turnover rate. Students are only there for four years, and they often go home in the summers. They are unlikely to keep the same housing each of the years as well. You will probably find that you get more short-term leases, which can be disconcerting to investors.

However, you can offer short-term summer leases with discounted summer rates, which will keep your properties occupied. You can also work with a property management company that helps you keep tenants in your property.