Should you rent to students? If you are asking yourself this question, odds are you’re uncertain whether a student can be trusted as a tenant. It’s fair to be concerned – this may be their first time renting a property and living away from home.

Nobody wants their property to be the litmus test of whether someone is a good tenant or not. But if your property is less than an hour from post-secondary and priced reasonably well for the area, then you are going to be inundated with students seeking housing… and that’s a good thing.

Whether you should rent to college students.

So you’ve got students begging to move in and you’re still unsure if it’s a good idea to offer them your rental when they likely have little to no income. Really though, consider yourself lucky – owning property near post-secondary institutions can be highly lucrative.

Rental units near schools are a hot commodity, especially with the cost of dormitories rising steadily. It may mean more oversight, but having multiple students renting a single property instead of a single tenant typically means a higher total income for the landlord. Sure, you will need to assess more candidates and handle more move-ins and move-outs, but it’s a trade-off that often comes with a payout.

There is a good chance that in asking yourself whether to rent to students, you are missing the underlying problem that vexes most landlords: “how can I tell if my rental applicants are going to make good tenants?”

You are in the position of power, you have choices, you are not dying to get a single application on your rental property. The key to capitalizing on this opportunity as a landlord is choosing the right candidate.

Tenant screening for college students.

How? Start by signing up to Naborly a smart (and free) way of getting a complete insight and assessment.

Credit checks are just the tip of the iceberg, especially with student renters who may have little to no credit built up at all. Does that make them bad tenants? Not at all. You just need to verify their information for yourself.

Whether they are in their undergrad or starting their PhD, students have plenty of lenders chomping at the bit to offer them a line of credit. When that fails, they often have family members that can bail them out. If you are concerned about their ability to make payments, consider taking on a cosigner.

College student in class

Why are students moving to off-campus housing?

Dormitories are mostly expensive, ageing, cramped, and noisy places to live as a student. If a student cares more about having privacy and quiet in the evenings rather than partying and proximity to their classes, they are likely to seek housing off-campus.

Universities are supporting this as well, given the often low vacancy rate in their dormitories. They often have their own rental finding services that you will want to list your property on.

Reducing the risks of renting to students.

There is a good chance that in asking yourself whether to rent to students, you are missing the underlying problem that vexes most landlords: “how can I tell if my rental applicants are going to make good tenants?”. That’s where NaborlyReports come in, offering a free tenant screening solution that can evaluate your applicants en masse. 

But perhaps your candidate appears risky by virtue of having little to no renting history or income. 

Well, you can still cut down on your risks when renting to a student by following these guidelines:

Deciding whether to rent to college students

Renting to international students.

If you have reservations about renting to international students, bear in mind that they are often more financially secure than local students. The reason for that is that tuition costs for international students are often four times the cost for domestic students, and (at least in Canada) students must prove they have funding to receive a study permit.

That means that the heavy lifting of verifying income is already mostly done for you when it comes to international student tenants.