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.



Cons:

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.



Conclusion

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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I have rented out a one bedroom condominium to a student from East Malaysia. Her parents pay for the rental which is right on the dot without delay. No major issues except one of the air-conditioner and the washing machine malfunctioned.  However, the unit can be messy and unkempt because the student's life is to spend more time on their studies and less on housekeeping.      

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@davidwong propose to her parents to pay for twice a week maid to clean up her place for health and improve study results reasons.

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From my experience. 

Usually the graduating seniors will recommend to their juniors if the location is convenient and close to the college.

It is also easier to pass down and sell off their stuff to the juniors.

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@davidwong that why better solution is, get them a higher and reasonable rental. Use the money to get a cleaning service at least one week once.

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Based on my experience, pros of renting to students would be easily and quickly rented out if it's nearby colleges or universities. Also, usually they won't negotiate when it comes to rental because it's paid by their parents. Cons would be, majority of them will trash your place by the time they leave. Sometimes the deposit cannot even cover the amount for your refurbishment.

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@james_bob 

In other words, it is still a good long term investment to purchase properties nearby colleges; for rental yield returns. 

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if the students is going to rent for 2 or 3 years then it reduce the hassle to find new tenant. 

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@alextxm96 Yes I agree that highger rental is needed to cover the higher risk of uncleanliness and wear & tear by students (although not all students are like that). However, they are desperate Landlords who are able to accept the lower rental budget of the students that will have an impact on this strategy  

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And if the property is rented to students before... most probably you will need to do minor renovation (wall painting for instance) before it can be rented out to family tenants again...


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I have once rented a room out for 2 female students to stay, 3 months tenancy only. Thankfully they are such sweet tenants, no trouble given, maybe due to the short stay period too.

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Usually quite high demand by student especially near the local campuses, so no worries in renting out your unit. BUT be prepared for them trashing your place and the need to renovate before renting out again. 

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@veron 

That is the reason why owners need to conduct visits/inspection to your unit once every few months. To keep the trashing at bay. Haha. 

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@domng That's true! But most owners don't. Too much hassle I guess.

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@veron 

Yes you are right, for most owners... as long as you pay the rental on time, they will not do inspections...

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screen your tenants no matter who they are

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@Sharifah_MJ 

Agree... best case if can see who the other occupants are. Not just dealing with one student only...

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Get a private investigator! LOL :P

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If got others Better Option , I won't rent to student ...

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I have rented a 1 bedroom condominium to a university college student who is a Malaysian. She is the occupant and her father enters into the Tenancy Agreement and pays for the rent. Her rental has been prompt for the past one year and she is  responsible. 

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@davidwong 

So nice to have a father like that. The college student can really focus on her studies.

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I guess not all students are like that. We were once upon a time ago like them. We didn't wreck people's house, in fact we kept it really well. Well... at least I did.

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@veron 

The owner is very fortunate to have a tenant like you... hassle free.

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In fact the female student called me for a pre-inspection (4 days earlier) of the apartment to check on any damages, defects or missing items prior to the official handover of vacant possession of the apartment back to the Landlord. I am amazed that she make is a point to serviced back all the air-conditioners, cleaned up the unit and replaced missing or broken plates, cups or utensils. She also ensured that all her utilities bills are paid up to date except for those bills that are forthcoming. She told me that she even googled to find out the ethics of renting an apartment and what not to leave behind. Excellent student tenant whom we will welcome her to stay on if she decides to work in KL after her graduation. The key here is open and regular communication with the tenant on any issues during the term of the tenancy period.        

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i think if u want to invest for student tenant, it is best to choose those with walking distance to school. Students dont mind paying more if the location is near as they can save their transportation & time cost

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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

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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