Property Management Blog

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Renting Out to Students


System - Saturday, December 13, 2014
Property Management Blog

Living in Boston, it would be almost impossible not to see groups of students and graduates populating the streets of the city. Boston neighborhoods close to popular educational institutions like Fenway-Kenmore, Brookline, Allston-Brighton and Newton have a high student population as tenants throughout the school year.

The opinion on whether to rent out your property to students is a good idea or not is divided and many people swear that they would never rent their apartment or house out to students. However, there is an equally large number of Boston landlords who deal exclusively with students because of the various benefits renting out to students gives them.

Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of this choice so you can better decide which option is better for you as a landlord.

The Good – Benefits of Renting Out to Students

  1. Due to Boston and its many suburbs being the hub of many of the country’s prestigious colleges and universities like Boston University, University of Massachusetts and Harvard, there will never be a shortage of tenants. Students arrive from all over the world to study at BU, BC, Northeastern, Harvard, Berklee, UMass Boston and Emerson and are always looking for off-campus housing options.
  2. Most students have their parents as co-signors for the apartment lease or agreement. This means you can be sure of getting your rent and dealing with adults on all legal matters. 
  3. If one student had a good experience of living in your apartment during their education in Boston, you may be sure that you now have a strong word-of-mouth referral system going for you. These older students will refer relatives, siblings or even friends to you when they are looking for rental options near their university or college.
  4. University towns, or towns closer to universities, have a higher rent than other Boston suburbs.
  5. Most students love to party. This could be a problem if other residents in the neighborhood have issues with loud music blaring in the middle of the night.
  6. Rules will often be broken but this does not necessarily have to be a huge issue.
  7. Many students will leave behind a huge mess to clean up after their lease ends. Due to the short nature of their stay, they can be irresponsible about matters like repairs and maintenance.

The Bad – Some Things That Could Be Problem

All of these problems can be dealt with before leasing out your property. You could discuss all matters with the parent or guardian co-signing the lease to include clauses about repairs, occupancy and noise limits to minimize your losses.

The Ugly – Why Most People Don’t Want to Rent Out to Students

Students who are living away from home for the first time in their lives tend to get high on the freedom. Most people who live in university towns are quite used to the sight of a 20-year old sprawled in a drunken stupor across their front lawn, but sometimes things can go horribly wrong. For example:

  1. Under-aged drinking and drug use
  2. Violent behavior
  3. Drunken riots
  4. Accidents like leaving the gas on and causing a fire

Renting out to students has its pros and cons. For someone who is willing to put in the little extra effort required when dealing with young people, it can be quite a profitable opportunity. However, for people who don’t have the temperament or the patience to deal with them should probably just stick to non-students and professionals.

Keep in mind however, that renting out to a non-student does not guarantee a problem-free experience. Not all students are irresponsible and bad tenant is a bad tenant, regardless of if they are still in school.

If you require any help regarding finding a tenant or managing your property for student tenants, please contact us at 617-734-6900 or info@bbamanagement.com.