Student Renters Are Not Typical Tenants

Monday, August 23, 2021

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Student tenants are often brand-new renters but this should not deter landlords from leasing to them, as the off-campus housing market is very lucrative and there are many reasons why students make great tenants


It is important to acknowledge that some student tenants do come with their own set of unique challenges; however, they can easily be overcome.

Student renters can be transient.
When it comes to lease renewal time, many students opt to change their accommodations each new academic year or move in with new friends. For student housing owners and managers, this can be time consuming but often isn't a huge problem because the student tenant pool is forever replenishing. Landlords can offer incentives to students to renew their leases and/or refer friends to the property. In some cases though, landlords may secure a tenant for the student's full academic career. 


Student renters are usually inexperienced tenants.

This doesn’t mean student renters are bad tenants. Rather, it implies that they aren’t well versed when it comes to knowing their rights and responsibilities as a tenant. For example, they might sign a lease without reading it and then have no idea what is expected of them. This may lead to accidental lease violations, as they were unaware of the rules and regulations. It’s wise to review key parts of the lease with student renters, after they have signed it.


Student renters tend to only inhabit rental accommodations for 8-9 months.

In most rental markets, a lease follows the standard 12-month period; but an academic school year is usually only 8 or 9 months in duration. This often means that landlords will have to deal with sub-tenants, as students will likely look to sublet in order to recuperate some of their money, if they move out before the lease expires. There are very few circumstances where a landlord can lawfully refuse a tenant the ability to sublet, so it’s recommended to incorporate guidelines into the lease.


Student renters can be unaware of local by-laws or regulations.

Durign move-out times, student renters will frantically clean out their accommodation and may place everything they no longer want at the curb. In some instances, they may leave items that cannot be picked up curbside by garbage trucks, which can occasionally result in fines for the property owner. Also, most cities require property owners to shovel the sidewalks in front of their properties during winter months. Failing to do so is a safety hazard and can result in a fine. This is why it’s important that a student housing owner or manager educates student tenants about such local bylaws ahead of time.


Student renters usually have limited credit history and past landlord references.

Most property owners will require a credit check or past landlord references before renting to a tenant. When renting to students, these type of requirements can be hard to meet. Younger students will often have little-to-no credit history or previous landlord references. In these circumstances, landlords can consider other options such as requesting for a guarantor on the lease.


Student renters often search for housing on an individual basis.

If a student housing owner has a 3-bedroom house, chances are the preference will be to rent to a group of three students together.  This isn’t always achievable, as sometimes students do not have formed groups of friends at the time. Landlords are encouraged to also offer by-the-room renting in these circumstances.


While these situations may occur with student tenants, the profitability available in the student housing industry will often out-weigh the potential challenges.

SEE ALSO:  Ever Considered Renting Your Spare Room to a Student?

The Team