Pros and Cons of Owning Rental Properties in College Towns for College Students

Investing in rental properties in college towns can be an attractive venture, as it offers the potential for steady income and a relatively stable tenant base. However, like any investment, there are both pros and cons to consider. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of owning rental properties in college towns to rent to college students.


Consistent Demand – As long as the college or university is in operation, students will need places to live. This can lead to a reliable stream of rental income, reducing vacancy rates and potential income fluctuations.

High Rental Income Potential – College students often share apartments, making it possible to charge higher rents on a per-room basis. This can result in higher rental income compared to traditional rental properties, where the entire unit is rented to a single tenant.

Potential for Prepaid Rent – In many college towns, students and their families often pay rent in advance for the entire semester or academic year. This can provide landlords with financial security, as they don’t have to worry about monthly rent collection.

Limited Marketing Efforts – College students frequently rely on word-of-mouth recommendations when searching for housing, which means less marketing effort is required. Once you establish a good reputation as a landlord, it’s easier to find tenants.

Tax Benefits – Rental property owners may be eligible for various tax deductions, such as mortgage interest, property depreciation, and maintenance expenses, which can help reduce the overall tax burden.


High Turnover – Most students move in and out of housing at the end of each academic year, which can result in added expenses, such as cleaning, maintenance, and potential periods of vacancy.

Property Wear and Tear – College students can be hard on rental properties. They may not have the same level of responsibility as more mature tenants, leading to increased wear and tear on your property. Frequent cleaning, repairs and maintenance can be necessary.

Risk of Unpaid Rent – College students may not have a strong credit history, and some may have trouble paying rent consistently. Landlords should be prepared to deal with late payments or, in some cases, unpaid rent, which can negatively affect cash flow.

Noise and Disturbances – College students often enjoy socializing and may have different schedules, leading to potential noise disturbances. This can lead to complaints from neighbors and require intervention by the landlord.

Lease Period Challenges – The typical academic calendar lease can leave you with vacant units during the summer months. To maximize income, landlords may need to find short-term tenants or offer summer storage options, which can be logistically challenging.

As a landlord, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons carefully and develop a solid strategy to mitigate the challenges associated with student housing. With the right approach and a commitment to IDEAL’s proactive property management, rental properties in college towns can be a lucrative and rewarding investment opportunity.

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