Pros and cons of renting to university students

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Adding student rentals to your property management portfolio is a promising opportunity but comes with unique challenges. Let’s check them out:

PRO: High demand

One of the standout advantages of student rentals is the high demand.

With a significant shortage of purpose-built student housing across the country, many students are forced to seek off-campus accommodation – and many also prefer the off-campus lifestyle.

Demand tends to peak in August and September, especially for properties near campus. And since there is always a fresh crop of college freshmen, the demand for rental housing remains consistent year to year.

CON: Higher turnover

On the other hand, students are more likely to break leases or request short-term agreements due to graduations, school transfers, or changing accommodation needs.

As a result, property managers could incur additional costs and effort in marketing and preparing properties for new tenants, with a higher risk of vacancies during summer.

However, this isn't always the case – many student tenants are content to stay in one rental for their full academic tenure.

PRO: Parental assistance

Since students often lack extensive credit histories, they frequently add a co-signer or guarantor (usually a parent) to their lease, which offers a layer of financial security for property managers.

Co-signers and guarantors can reduce concerns about late or missed payments, even if the student tenant themselves faces financial difficulties. This is especially true today, when many parents actively support their children financially during their university years.

CON: Management intensity

But perhaps most dauntingly, students can be considered high-maintenance.

Many students have never lived on their own before and may require a more hands-on management approach.

Property managers may need to provide additional guidance on rental responsibilities, enforce lease terms more closely, inspect properties for damage more often, and address more frequent queries.

Property management platforms like PayProp can streamline many of these processes, automating tasks such as proactive payment reminders and maintenance ticket updates to reduce admin burdens.

As you can see, renting to university students can be a lucrative venture – but do the cons outweigh the pros? Share your thoughts and tag us on social media!

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