When you own rental properties near a university or trade school campus, or a college town, it is almost certain that a significant number of your tenants will be young adults. While renting to this demographic presents a specific set of challenges, it also offers an opportunity to fill vacancies, keep rental income steady, and help younger people get a start on their own and learn about the responsibilities they will face in the world. With a carefully crafted strategy, you can get the most out of the situation, and guard against the risks landlords face when renting to young adults. Here are a few steps you can take to get the most out of your investment.
Know Your Target Audience
There are certain things that college students look for in a rental. If you know what these specifics are and make any necessary modifications to your rental units, you will be able to market effectively and inexpensively to this demographic. A few things they look are:
- Wi-Fi. If you market Wi-Fi as a bonus that is included in the rent, many students will see this as a benefit to renting from you. Students need Wi-Fi to do their schoolwork and use it for gaming, music, TV, and movies.
- On-site laundry is a benefit to any renter, but college students who may be unfamiliar with the area and may not have a car will find it especially appealing.
- A safe apartment or house will make students and their parents both feel more comfortable while they are living away from home. Be sure to install deadbolt locks on all doors and have adequate exterior lighting around the property.
- The rental cost must be affordable for students or their parents, who often pay their rent. The benefit to a landlord is that several students typically share an apartment or house, so the rent can be a little higher than you would normally charge for a single person or family. When it is broken down between several students, it is still affordable for all of them.
Protect Your Investment and Income
There are several steps you can take to ensure rent will be paid and your property will be protected. Measures you can take include:
- Screening applicants. Ask for references from student applicants. If they don’t have a rental history, you can ask for employer references or even trusted college professors.
- Requiring a co-signer. Even if the student is not relying on parents to pay the rent, it is still acceptable to require an adult co-signer with a strong credit history to ensure that rent will be paid.
- Going over the lease. You can include very specific requirements in a student’s lease, such as restrictions on parties, overnight guests, late rent payments, etc. Go over these points thoroughly with the student and make sure the terms are understood.
- Controlling energy costs. Landlords of students and adults alike find the use of landlord thermostats to be a great benefit. Programming and controlling a comfortable temperature for tenants in a rental property eliminates the possibility of a negligent tenant running up excessive utility bills.
Renting to young people can be a rewarding and lucrative experience, if planned for in advance. Let Chicago Controls Thermostats, Inc. help you take control of utility costs in your rental properties with our line of landlord thermostats.