If you own rental properties in Wilmington close to the beautiful UNC Wilmington campus, it is guaranteed that you will have college students interested in your property.
Having a rental property that’s attractive to college students is a good thing. By having a college-accessible rental property, you are guaranteeing a long line of potential tenants. As long as there is a university, students will need nearby housing.
Of course, there are some things to keep in mind if you own rental property in a college town:
- Set your price appropriately. There is demand by college students but if your price is too high, your house won’t rent. By considering the tuition price the average college student in your town pays, you can easily gauge the amount of rent you can ask for.
- Make sure the property is free of repairs and all is in working order. Not only is it the law, but you will hear about it from the parents or cosigners if the property isn’t in working order. When you offer better property conditions to renters, you can generally expect to obtain better set tenants.
- Have the right lease. Leases governing college students should always have clauses about noise control, maximum occupancy (check local code), and damage and repair recourse. Be sure that your lease begins and ends at the right time of year, taking in to account that summers are the time for turnover. Remember that any situations that arise when renting to college students usually evolve from a lack of experience on the renter’s side. Think of the lease as a first lesson in renting: Clearly establish all expectations.
- Make the lease thorough. Things you wouldn’t think need to be explained, explain! Mention anything you think is important and consider clauses limiting candles, weapons (including BB guns), painting the walls, loud noises after midnight, and the like. Be explicit.
- Require a cosigner and make cosigners responsible for all parties. With college kids, their parent may be helping to fund their college experience. In most cases, parents are willing to cosign for leases. Minors can’t sign a lease without a cosigner, but requiring one even if the tenant is of-age is strongly recommended. By making the cosigners equally responsible, there will be a concerted effort by all involved to minimize damages and pay rent.
- Screen your renters diligently. Check the actual renters’ past rental history, ensure the cosigners are aware of all the rules moving forward, and perform a credit check. The more information you have, the better you’ll be able to make good decisions. Don’t ever just trust your instincts on this one.
- Make your renters pay the bills. College kids are quite capable of setting up all utilities and paying for them. This should be a requirement of your rental property. If college kids want to spend more than $100 each month on TV packages and Internet access, let them see and absorb those bills. The only exception is to include lawn care if you are offering a home with a larger yard or a lot of shrubs. Most students are too busy to look after these items the way you would want.
- Use a third-party management company. A property manager will know all the laws and have the proper paperwork to navigate a tenant experience. A third-party management company will be able to effectively handle communication between all parties. You can save yourself a lot of headaches by using a professional while enjoying the benefits of renting to the college market!
Call Sweyer Property Management today to discuss the easiest and most effective way to manage your college rental property.