Among the most challenging properties to manage for an owner are those intended for use by students. In areas that include a large university or college, there is no shortage of students striking out on their own for the first time. In between classes, they’ll need housing — and they’ll come to look at properties like the one you’ve been tasked with managing. To navigate this challenge successfully, keep in mind some of the things you may need to do differently.
A thorough application that lets you develop a full picture of potential tenants is important. Who will pay rent if a student can’t afford it? Which sources of income do they have? Investigate rental history very carefully and require references. This will help reduce problematic tenants that cause damage or become chronically late on rent. Take the time to do your homework to find the best residents for your property.
There shouldn’t be wiggle room or loopholes in your lease. When dealing with students, it is important to plainly spell out all their responsibilities. Include thorough policies on damage, guests, pets, and more — and make sure you have enforcement abilities, too. Fines and other methods of punishment can help reduce infractions and keep the property enjoyable for all who live nearby. Research the law or consult an attorney to cover your bases without crossing lines.
Young tenants plus high turnover equals lots of wear and tear. From tenants who simply don’t know how to take care of things to the heavy use the property may see, expect breakage. Have a plan in place before that happens, and develop robust relationships with maintenance providers in your area. Your tenant approval will increase when you can rectify problems quickly.
Though managing a student property can be challenging, the right preparations can make it smooth sailing.