So you've decided to rent out a room in your own home. Who can blame you with the economy the way it is. Whether you live in your home, or have this rental property as a second home, it is still an intrinsic part of you. I'm sure you make every effort to secure the monies required to keep this home as a rental property.
Now you want to rent out a room, or maybe the second second home you purchased during the boom years before the real estate market turned sour. And for some inexplicable reason you have decided, you want to have college students as tenants.
The question arises, why would anyone want to rent to college students? They are not known as the epitome of responsible, on time or careful. And who can blame them? These are tumultuous times with many youthful adults having a hard time making the transition from home to independence at college.
Then again, like everything in life, there are pros and cons to this decision of yours. If your property happens to be within walking distance of a university or college campus, it makes all the more sense to prospect for college student to become your tenants.
So what are the pros?
For one, the college student tenant has no intention of living in your home indefinitely. They are by nature and circumstance transitory people. They will move to live with other friends. They will move for new jobs or internships or they will just vacate your home when the lease expires at the end of the school year. Always nice to have tenants who you know are going to leave promptly.
You can charge slightly higher rents if your rental property is located near a campus. Sort of like a 'convenience' surcharge. I know I paid that while attending the University in Boston and in the UK. If you happen to be a young person, it's a great way to meet new people.
So now let's discuss the cons.
There's almost no lease agreement, rules or discussions that can negate the potential damage these young, careful adults may cause to your rental property. It's almost never intentional (vandals are vandals, they can not be equated with youth, college or any other criterion) but it is almost inevitable. A party one night, and a spilled drink, there goes your white rug.
It's no secret that college kids can be irresponsible with their money despite being on a shoe string budget. So do not be surprised if your tenants are way past their rental due dates. Then when these tenants have a raucous party, neighbors will seek you out to complain (especially if the house is in a working class area).
Then there is the generational division. Do you think you would be able to handle conflict with people younger and more gregarious than you are? Will you be able to communicate with them? How will you keep an eye on your tenants? It's easy if you live on the same property, but what about if you live off-site? How will you make sure your student decisions respect the rules you have laid down?
I'm sure many of you have heard the wild brilliant stories of leasing to student tenants, with horrific tales of destruction caused by these same college student tenants. This decision of yours should not be so much a judgment call as an objective call. You need to be confident about dealing with young men and women who have just flown the nest and are eager to explore the uninhibited life outside the glare of mom and dad's attention. On the other hand you know to respect and recognize if these young people have made it to the University, there's also every reason to believe they are grounded, hard-working and courteous people.