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What to Know Before Renting to College Students

Renting to college students is an appeal for many that live around college towns. As a resident in the New River Valley, college towns are all around us. Radford, Christiansburg, and Blacksburg are all popular locations for students attending nearby universities. According to the College Board, around 44% of students live off-campus. This gives an opportunity for owners to seek out thousands of students who are looking for properties, especially for the hundreds of Virginia Tech students who have been over-admitted. 

College students moving in

Pros and Cons

Like all investments, you run the risk of gains and losses. Before you decide whether or not you want to rent out to college students, we have made a list of pros and cons to help inform your decisions.


  • High Demand

As long as your local university is accepting students, you will have a high and steady demand in your area. Blacksburg and Christiansburg have benefited highly in this case, especially due to schools over-admitting students which require more students than ever to live off-campus. 

  • Low Marketing Costs

One of the best things about renting in a college town is word of mouth (which happens to be free). Many students can help find new tenants for you. Many times, there are dozens of applications waiting for your property a year in advance!

  • Save Money on Upgrades

Most students are looking for affordability over luxury, so minimal upgrades may only need to be made each year. Safety is always in mind, but things like new appliances, new flooring, or even new paint might not be necessary. As long as you are fixing what absolutely needs to be done, most other upgrades are not going to be deal-breakers for college students. 


  • Property Damage

Probably at the forefront of every property owner’s mind is damages to the property. Yes, they can happen, but there’s a way to mitigate costs. Many students are used to security deposits being taken at the beginning of the lease to pay for accidents. This is a great way to ensure students are being diligent and a way for accidents to be taken care of. 

  • No Rental History

As a college student, no rental, employment, or credit history is not unusual. This may make it difficult to determine who would be the best tenant. Oftentimes it is a hard decision, but having parents cosigning is a great way to lower the risks of this obstacle. 

  • Frequent Turnover

Many students tend to switch leases every year. Roommates may not work out or situations may change making them look for other properties. This can be hard on a property owner for the reasons of finding new tenants and having to make yearly upgrades. A great tip to help lower these risks is to offer special promotions to current tenants in hopes of them having to re-sign. 


Although there are various cons to renting to college students, there are also ways to lower your risks. Security deposits for damages, cosigners for rent, and special promotions for resigning are great ways to do so. 

If your home has sentimental value and you are wary of college students, another great option is graduate students. Graduate students are known to have more rental history and experience. If your home is more for investment and income, undergraduates may be a good option for you.

Overall, renting to college students can be a very rewarding and reliable source of income. Depending on your home and situation, it may be a great option for you to consider! 


With these tips and tricks for deciding to rent to college students, you will be sure to have a clearer mindset when it comes to your decision. If you are just getting started in the real estate industry, the NRV is a great place to start if you are looking to rent to students. At Real Property Management, we can help get you along your way. Visit us at:



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