Rentals close to college - Posted by Lindsay

Posted by bob on July 18, 2002 at 13:43:00:

Just get a nice BIG damage deposit & everything will be fine…

Rentals close to college - Posted by Lindsay

Posted by Lindsay on July 18, 2002 at 08:58:35:

I’d like to ask the experts on this board how they feel about acquiring houses close to a university for rentals.

In my town, the closer the rental is to campus, the higher the rental price. Even if it’s a dump. And, sadly, there are a lot of property owners around here who do absolutely no maintenance to their properties and they are caving in. These college students breeze in from their hometowns with enough time to find a place and get moved in before classes start, and don’t investigate the area enough to know they’re paying WAY too much and could get a nice place a few miles away for less money. They are willing to pay high prices just so they can walk to campus.

Of course, I don’t have dreams of being a slum lord like a lot of the folks around here. I’d like to acquire decent properties and keep them in good shape.

But there are instances when renters are irresponsible, park all over the grass, tear up the inside and outside, etc. One property owner I know was furious because the kids renting one of his houses wanted to have a bonfire so they built it on the front porch of a beautiful old bungalow. They thought it would be ok since they build up a few layers beneath the fire and couldn’t understand why it burned a big hole in the front porch floor.

Also, how do you handle the possibility of the house being empty during the summer months? Is that part of the reason for the higher rent year-round, to make up for the vacancy during the summer? Most college students go back home for the summer.

I’m just wondering if it’s worth all of the heartache and watching the house cave in.

I suppose it’s possible to write things into the lease, like no parking on the grass, observe the city’s quiet hours so the neighbors don’t call me as property owner complaining, no meth labs, no open flames.

Does anyone on this board have experience renting close to campus?

Re: Rentals close to college - Posted by GaryO

Posted by GaryO on July 18, 2002 at 15:03:55:

I have 16 units all within 4 easy blocks of the college. Truth is, I love it. I’ve not seen anymore damage out of the students then I have out of adults, I’ve actually probably seen less. When a student moves out the place is usually, not always, dirty. It takes a good cleaning, a chunk out of there deposit, and probably a trip to Home Depot for some minor accessories, like a $10 dollar light fixture. This is all to be expected out of any age tenant. After that I have the place rented in about 1week.
When I meet with them to sign a lease, like always I read every word and emphasize the part about keeping the place clean and paying the rent. In fact, I probably state three or four times that if they pay the rent on time, keep the place clean, and no parties, we shouldn’t have any problems. Granted they don’t keep it totally clean, but it’s never been totally thrashed either.
One more thing, I ALWAYS get a cosigner AND job refrences AND other apartment refrences. I also ALWAYS call all of them. The parent clearly understands they are responsible.
Anyway, do all these common sense things and it will be OK. By the way, It is a heck of lot easier to get a young kid to move if you have to than it is an adult. I don’t know if anyone else has experience this or not, but it seems that the young kids are so much more responsible because in housing they don’t know what they can get away with. Most adults have been there done that and if you send them a pay or quit notice they just laugh. Young kids though, you tell them they will have to go to court along with thier parents and they think twice. They find some friend to move in with, I keep their deposit and have the place rented in about a week. Also, maybe it’s just the town I’m in, but for me it never matters whether it’s spring, summer, fall or winter, there’s always students that need housing. Mine are always just a little bit cleaner and better than the ones next door. Maybe a have a cheep microwave or TV sitting on the kitchen counter that I bought from somebodies forfeited deposit, and if the next tenant breaks it, who cares, they will pay for it or their parents, then I get another brand new one.

Sorry so long, hope this helps.

Re: Rentals close to college - Posted by Eric in FL

Posted by Eric in FL on July 18, 2002 at 14:30:19:

I have duplexes and triplexes that I rent to college students. I have no problem and this is why. I have their parents co-sign and I meet them and tell them they are ultimately responsible. This eliminates alot of the bon fire crew from ruining your places. Also, I have yearly leases in very nice bomb proof places. In other words I have tiled anything and everything I can and will not hesitate to use the very large security deposit that their parents gave me if their is damage. It is also amazing that students will move out three weeks after the semester ends and forfeit their security deposit. I am completely amazed that their parents allow it to happen but it does. Go for it!!
Good Luck.


Re: Rentals close to college - Posted by Jim Rayner

Posted by Jim Rayner on July 18, 2002 at 12:51:15:


If having your home returned to you looking like this doesn’t bother you go for it but don’t expect much better than this.

Re: Rentals close to college - Posted by Dee Dee

Posted by Dee Dee on July 18, 2002 at 12:08:34:

First of all I’m a newbie in the investing business,I do not pretend to be an expert. But I did want to add that we are closing in a few weeks on a new condo in College Station that we bought for our daughter and 2 roommates. Housing is at a premium there. We are charging the roommates one price if they sign a 12 mo lease and $50 more/month if they only want a school year lease. I received one signed lease with a deposit in the mail yesterday for 12 months. The other roommate has indicated she wants a 12 month lease, but I haven’t received hers back yet.

We also live in a university town. I haven’t bought any property here yet although I’m looking hard. I haven’t decided yet if I would like to give the college kids here a try or go for family homes. I want to learn more about the market before I decide on my niche.

Re: Rentals close to college - Posted by Ellie (NYC)

Posted by Ellie (NYC) on July 18, 2002 at 11:09:36:

Don’t know if this will help at all, but thought I’d share…

When I was going to FSU, there were rentals that were very high monthly and some that seemed way too low. After some investigation I found that different landlords chose from 2 ways of renting. Some would charge higher rates for just the in-school months and then advertise the summer months at incredibly low rates just to keep them occupied. Others would charge lower monthly rates but require a 1-yr lease agreement. Some of the latter even required the June, July, and August rent up front rather than the security deposit. I guess the kids with wealthier mommies and daddies went for those apartments! :slight_smile:


What in the world did they do? - Posted by Lindsay

Posted by Lindsay on July 18, 2002 at 21:38:29:

Oh, my goodness! Did you crap your pants when you walked into this place? Wonder what they did to get it in this kind of shape.

Guess it’s part of the territory, no?

Did you find any dead bodies?