Saturday, October 31, 2015

Is student housing right for you?

Ottawa is home to four post-secondary schools including the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, Algonquin College, and La Cite. Looking at the student population numbers, there are approximately 133,740 full-time and part-time students enrolled or registered at these schools. As a result, there is a strong demand for student housing in the city. Many of these students, who are from outside of Ottawa or even Canada, need safe and affordable places to live.
Owning student rentals can be straightforward and even fun or it can keep you awake at night. It really depends on the amount of planning and time you put into it. I’ve rented to students in the past and I would do it again. In fact, I found that students can be easier to manage than adult tenants. Before you start begin investing in student rentals, read the following advantages and disadvantages to find out if this investing strategy is for you.
Advantages
  •  The parents sign the lease or act as guarantors and helps reduce the risk of late or no rent payments.
  •  Less likely to have professional tenants who work the system to their advantage.
  •  Consider renting by the room or offering fully furnished units which can result in getting higher rents.
  • Third and fourth year students as well as post-graduate students are generally more mature, require less effort, and are there to study. 
  • In general, students are easy to get along with and are respectful and cooperative.
Disadvantages
  • The expenses can be higher because in some cases the landlord pays for the utilities and condominium fees.
  • Students like to socialize and have parties which can lead to property damage, complaints from other tenants or neighbors, and visits by the police.
  • There can be higher turnover which means more time and money spent on advertising, showings, and maintenance.
  •  Expect the rental unit to be messy and have more wear and tear.
  • More time can be spent with younger students who are not familiar with the neighbourhood, bus routes, or using appliances.
Owning and managing student rentals isn’t for everyone. Ask yourself if this is the right investment strategy for you and make sure you have the right skillset and sufficient knowledge before moving forward. It’s also important to choose the right property in the right location and ask for help if needed.

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