Renting to students the pros and cons cover
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Owning a property near universities or colleges can either be a blessing or a curse. You either have a large pool of prospective tenants or a recipe for disaster. Why? Well, there’s no doubt that students are a great tenant option because there is a constant stream of them. However, they may also cause a lot more harm than good. If you’ve been thinking about making this investment - hold your horses! Here are some of the pros and cons that you should keep in mind when renting to students.

The Pros of Having Student Tenants:

1. Student renters are less picky

As long as you have decent beds, internet connection, a decent kitchen, a desk and chair for them to work their assignments on, that just about does it for them. Students spend most of their time on campus, so interior decoration is not as important. Basic necessities for them to use are good enough so you don’t have to provide much in terms of furniture.

If you are worried about losing any important things in your property, make sure to keep an inventory of all the things available in your home before the new tenants move in. Also, remember to warn them of bringing anything that may be prohibited to bring into your building or on property grounds.

2. Your property will be continuously occupied

Due to the steady stream of students, it can be guaranteed that your property is constantly occupied. Due the studying commitment, the chance of them renting your place for a longer period of time is very likely.

Apart from that, this will be a plus point if you’re a fussy landlord. You can easily pick and choose from a wide range of students and find the ideal tenants for your home. Side note: In order to win tenants, make sure to keep your rental at a reasonable price and take immediate action if there are any issues on your property. Maintaining a good relationship with tenants can help in the upkeep of your property.

3. Financially reliable

Most students are still financially dependent on their parents. They might also have loans, scholarships and other financial aids to support their university finances. So, paying rent may not pose a problem to them. Nevertheless, if you are worried about their financial capability, you can consider asking for a post-dated cheque in advance. Some parents may even pay you a whole college term worth of rent up front to make it easier for their kids! 

To be on the safe side, make sure you are aware of the financial stance of your tenants. For a less risky option, you can rent on a room-by-room basis. which is better than paying for a whole property.


1. Irresponsible student tenants

This may be the first time most students are staying by themselves with no parental guidance. So, do expect some kind of havoc. This may lead to some irresponsible acts that could harm property. Some students may jeopardize your property with reckless behaviour or illegal substances that will also ruin your credibility as the home owner. Make sure you know the type of students you are leasing to and take extra precautions before renting to them.

To avoid this issue, consider consulting your attorney and drafting up a lease specifically for student tenants and any risks they may impose. 

2. Unpredictable number of tenants

Imagine this - 3 students are leasing your property and all a sudden you found out from your neighbour that there are 8 people living in your property. This unpredictable stream of students going in and out of your property may hurt you even more than them in the end.

So, the morale of the story is, make sure to be aware of how many students are staying in your property. The bigger your property, the stricter you have to be to your young tenants. 

To be more cautious, state a clause of the maximum number of occupants allowed on your property to avoid any future issues. Do regular check-ups on your home if you are suspicious of any additional tenants.

3. Very little understanding of the nature of renting

It is safe to assume that most students are not aware of the nature of renting. They may end up trashing your property without realizing that they have done something wrong. Cleanliness may not be their priority and there may be other complications they don’t necessarily understand. So, when dealing with students, know that there is a learning curve for them to understand between the right and wrong of staying in a rented place.

In contrast to college dorms, renting off campus comes with its own bag of responsibilities. Students may not understand that as clearly as the usual tenants, but hey, they got to learn somewhere! This is something to take note of when renting to students.

Also keep in mind that a new batch of students means a whole new learning curve. If you have the patience to deal with that, you are in a good state of mind to be renting your property to students.


There you have it - The pros and cons of leasing your place to students. Similar to other tenants, students have their own behaviours that may not be your cup of tea. The rule of thumb when renting out is to make sure you know who you are renting to. Also, don’t forget to prepare a guideline in order for them to understand clearly what is okay and what is not. So make sure to take all the necessary precautions before putting your home up for rent. 

Searching for tenants for your property? Post your requirements here and we can help you with just that!

(Written by: Putri Alya, 21st June 2017)


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@davidwong Yea I guess it's quite subjective. A lot of investors do buy properties closer to Universities / Colleges because it's easy to get it rented out. However, there are some who has bad experience renting out to irresponsible student and left them traumatised :D

Jn profile picture small

I have good experience with student tenants from China ...Good paymaster & seldom raise any complaint . 

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I believe commercial units nearby college and universities... are good investment too.

Constant student crowd, and easy to hire part timers. Especially true for cafes and yumcha place which provide good ambiance for study and provide free WiFi! 

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@admin_ps thanks for sharing