Tips on Setting a Rental Rate

Monday, June 14, 2021

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At, one of the most common questions we receive from private landlords is, “What rental rate should I charge for my property?” Although there is not a precise, black and white response to this, there are some key factors to consider. There are a wide variety of unique rental units, so we always suggest landlords do some research and reflect on multiple criteria before deciding.


Here are the most common attributes that can affect a rental rate:


  • Renting the unit as a whole or per bedroom*
  • Whether a long or short-term lease*
  • Overhead costs, such as mortgage payments and property taxes
  • Utility expenses, whether included in the rental rate or not
  • Fully equipped, basic furnishings only or unfurnished
  • Amenities and added luxuries provided
  • The inclusion of meals and/or other features, such as laundry, cleaning, maintenance, etc.
  • Distance to the school and/or other accessible places, such as a shopping plaza, grocery store, bank, Laundromat, etc.
  • The degree of tenant privacy and/or the number of tenants sharing common areas*
  • Rental availability date, for example, is the rental available mid-semester or during a peak move-in period?
  • Rental market within the city and competition 
  • Legal rent increases*


*Always check the local rental by-laws and regulations to review any restrictions on charging/increasing a rental rate or details specific to student tenants.


Our most common recommendation to landlords when setting or reviewing the rental rate is to examine what others are charging in close proximity, with similar unit types and amenities offered. To view other online rental property listings near a college or university, landlords can search by campus name at


Another common price-related question is whether to rent all-inclusive or non-inclusive. In most cases, students will prefer all-inclusive rentals for a variety of reasons (specifically students without much rental experience). If renting all-inclusive, landlords can charge an increased rental rate to cover the utility expenses. It’s also recommended to discuss utility usage with tenants or to set utility caps beforehand.


After setting the rental rate, if the volume of inquiries isn’t high or what was expected, a landlord can always consider reducing the price to attract more potential tenants. Some red flags to determine this may consist of:


  • No inquiries after the first week
  • High online rental property listing - viewings but no inquiries
  • Student tenants are not completing an application during or after the viewing


Hopefully with these suggestions, a successful rental rate can be established to find ideal tenants and in a timely manner.


SEE ALSO:  Benefits of Periodic Rental Unit Repairs & Improvements

The Team