Is Student Housing Your Target Rental Market? - Part 2

Monday, April 12, 2021

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As a follow-up to the first blog we shared last month where some insight into the diverse demographic of student tenants was provided, below are the key things for landlords to consider when advertising in the off-campus housing market.  


Know the Area

  • Are there academic institutions in the community?
  • Where is the rental property in relation to the college or university(s)?
  • Is there public transit available in the area? Or could students walk to campus?
  • Is the rental property near amenities? Parks? Entertainment? Stores? Nightlife?


Know the School

  • What are enrolment rates like at the college or university(s)? Have they been increasing or decreasing over recent years?
  • Are all students allowed to live off-campus while in attendance? Or are first-year students required to live on-campus?
  • Does the school use an off-campus housing service to help provide rental accommodation options for their students?


Know the Market

  • Is there a demand for more student housing accommodations in the community?
  • Or is the market oversaturated with student rentals?
  • Is the overall rental vacancy rate high or low in the area? How quickly are other landlords leasing their units?


Let’s explore the benefits for landlords and property management companies to supply student-housing properties in the market versus multifamily rentals. There are a few drawbacks to consider as well.


Benefits for Landlords:

  • Tenant turnover is predictable and typically happens at the end of an academic year
  • A steady stream of renters always exists, as the market is replenished each school year upon entrance of new first-year/freshman students
  • Parents often act as co-signers/guarantors, which safeguards assets and usually guarantees rental payments on time
  • Occasionally, rent is provided upfront by parents
  • Word-of-mouth referrals in the student community helps fill vacancies quickly and easily


Drawbacks for Landlords:

  • Student tenants often desire a shorter lease term than 12 months, so units may remain empty during summer months or need to be sublet 
  • Younger tenants usually won’t have work experience or rental history, so character references may only be provided
  • Co-signer or guarantor may be required, so a little more paperwork involved


SEE ALSO:  Is Student Housing Your Target Rental Market? – Part 1

The Team