New To the Game

Hello All,

I have been looking at investing in a home in the city where I went to college but, I am a little concerned. The house is beautiful, has 5 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms, a yard, a big kitchen and a gorgeous living room. The problem is I have only heard horror stories about college rentals. My goal would be to keep the home as long as possible and eventually, in the far off future, use it for a vacation home for my family and I.

Can anyone tell me some pros and cons to renting to college kids? This is my first time investing and I am just unsure.


First thing to consider is it in an area where you can rent to college students? I know that in some small college towns there are city ordinances that prohibit more than 2 nonfamily members from renting a house.

Up your deposit requirements to the maximum allowed by law, screen really well and target your rental audience to students who are seniors or working on master/phd’s.

College towns are great for renting to adjunct faculty, visiting professors, etc. Beware the undergrad!

Undergrads can be fine too. You don’t want nice places or more than 2 bedrooms.

I like undergrads because they are jointly and severally liable. Somebody’s parents will pay the whole thing to keep their kid from getting evicted.

Never owned any myself though, too expensive. Just managed them for other people.

I think you can minimize the horror stories you’ve been hearing about by carefully screening your tenants. Look for a responsible renter so you won’t have any troubles in the end.

Not meaning to be negative but I have first hand experience leasing a beautiful home to college students and would NEVER do it again! We moved cross country leaving a 4 brm 3 ba home 3300 sq ft. We hired a real estate company to handle screening and finding a tenant. They found 4 students at a local Christian college However these kids nearly destroyed my home after only 5 months! I came back to find the grass more than 3 ft tall, screens ripped out if the windows, holes in the wall, an iron mark burned into my carpet, an old abandoned car in the yard that destroyed the grass, ROACHES, trash all over the front and back yard and I could go on and on and post pictures! I was lucky, the college took full responsibility and had their crew come in and fully restored the house. If not n not only would I have gone after the school but the horrible real estate company who agreed to monthly inspections. This was a nightmare for us. I would never do it again in a nice home.

That’s part of the problem. Undergrads have no rental history and they are going through that big transformation in life. I never drank until I went to college. Spent a whole semester drunk, more or less.

IMHO, the problems are mostly limited to places where large groups of them congregate. Buy a place that doesn’t accomodate that and they’ll find somewhere else to get drunk and throw up on the carpet.

Estrogen Hostage is correct. Remeber that a background check looks at how a person is projected to act based on how they acted in the past. You are not who you are you are what you do. They have been kids at home and don’t know who they are. The key is getting the parents on the hook but who are these parents.? That is who you background check…the parents not the kids.

Did the students’ parents co-sign on the lease? Did the college have anything to do with it besides they just were good to help you out? I can’t see how the college would have any liability here at all. This is another reason my wife and I manage our own rentals. No one cares more for our places than us.

Yes, being that the college dorms were under constuction, the school was listed on the lease along with the students. So they were just as responsible as the students. I agree with you Justin, this was our first time using someone to lease our place because we were so far away. We will never make that mistake again! I’d leave the place vacant instead.

I have had great experience with college kids. Several of them paid 3 to 6 months in advance when they got their student aid checks.