The university semester is about to start, and you would like to rent your dwelling to students. Whether it is the first lease of your future tenants or if you already signed with students in the past, discover our advice to make this rental agreement a success and to protect your investment! 

Write down your criteria before renting your unit

Before renting your dwelling, it is important to make sure your unit answers security criteria, as well as verifying to be ready for new tenants to move in. It is also important to write a good listing to attract tenants and set the rent adequately.  

  • Choose a good location for your rental: if you want to invest in the housing market and you would like to rent to students, find a place near universities: it is where students will look for a residence, and you will be able to set a higher rent. If you already possess a unit, mention important characteristics in the listing such as the transportation time to the university, how to go there by public transportation, …
  • Rent all-inclusive: student do not wish to have additional costs to their budget. Offer a furnished dwelling including the expenses linked to hydro and internet. By doing so, you will already make a difference. 
  • Make a real difference: although the vacancy rate is very low in some Canadian cities, it is important to make a difference compared to the competition, which will enable to fix a higher rent. By renovating the place before your new tenants move in, the candidate will feel better and you will rent quicker. In addition, if your tenants feel good in the unit, they will take better care of it. 
  • Home staging: Whether you rent a studio or a big dwelling to share, a student place is generally smaller than professional ones. Optimize the space! By giving the feeling that it is bigger than it is, candidates will project themselves and will want to rent the dwelling on the long-term.

Communication: the key to a successful lease

In order to rent your dwelling to students, you have to know on which platforms they are looking for a place. With a limited budget, students tend to avoid agencies not to pay fees. 

  • Communicate with their tools: contact universities and ask if you can display your listing. Also use social media groups to communicate directly with candidates and establish a first contact that will enable to have a first insight on whether you can trust this candidate or not. Once the lease agreement is signed, ask your tenants on how they want to communicate with you (over the phone, text messages …), as well as how they would like to pay the rent. 
  • Target long-term students: if you would like to avoid looking for a new tenant each year, find a long-term student (master or PhD). 

The rental agreement

Once you have found your future tenant, make sure to have the right clauses on the rental agreement and ask for proof of solvability. Generally, parents will be guarantors to pay the rent. 

  • Ask for additional elements to the lease: to reduce the risk of unpaid rents, ask for proof of solvability of the student’s parents. This will insure you of their payment capacity. In addition, ask for a deposit in case of damages or unpaid rents if this is legal in your province. Learn more about the clauses you may add to a lease, as well as the deposit according to your province
  • Get the right insurance: although you made all the necessary verifications about the solvability and that you trust your tenant, the risk of unpaid rents or a loss or claim still exist. At APRIL, we understand the risks you are exposed to as a landlord. Therefore, we offer you various insurance solutions

Renting to students does not bring along major differences compared to classic leases. The most important is to have a good relationship with your tenant: discover the 10 secrets of a successful landlord-tenant relationship!