Archive for the ‘Student Housing’ Category

Tips For Renting To Students from University of Toronto Housing Services

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

 

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Do You Want to Become a Successful Student Housing Landlord? 

We continue to get a lot of messages and comments from people who want to rent to students. OLA members have written how much they appreciated our previous posts on the topic and want more. In fact, our interview with the U of T Housing Services team received tremendous feedback and helped many small landlords succeed in renting to students so we asked them for more tips for 2016.

Many new investors and future landlords were student tenants themselves at one point and remember their time renting. They remember how they were looking for safe and attractive rental properties run by a great landlord.

Some say they never found the type of property or landlord they really hoped for during their uni or college days, and want to provide a terrific rental experience for the students of today. They remember how they followed the rules, always fulfilled their lease obligations and paid the rent on time. They were great tenants and now would like to rent to great tenants.

Even small residential landlords who aren’t near colleges or universities are also becoming very interested in buying a student rental property. They know they can apply their skills and knowledge as experienced, professional, service-oriented landlords to create rental properties for students who are looking for high quality rentals.

In order to help people interested in getting into student housing we interviewed the University of Toronto’s Housing Services team. They are a terrific resource for both landlords and tenants.

Here are some of our questions and terrific tips:

Many of our members have spoken about your helpful tips for landlords on Twitter.  When did the U of T team start using twitters to get the message out?

We starting actively using Twitter in late 2015. It’s been a great way for us to stay connected with our landlords and the housing community!

How does your service help landlords in 2016?

We offer a site where landlords can advertise their rental unit whether it be short- or long-term, private or shared accommodation.  Our site averages 13,000+ visitors each month including U of T, George Brown, OCAD, and ESL school students,  U of T staff and faculty, and students of other post-secondary institutions.

We offer various pricing options, insider tips on topics such as creating more attractive ads for students, average rental rates in the area, and current legislation.

Your ad will be visible to our users 24/7, you can track how many times your ad has been viewed, include extensive details such a floors plans and other photos.

Has anything about your services changed for 2016?

Yes! We are pleased to announce that we’ve launched a new and improved Off-Campus Housing website. The new site is mobile-friendly and has many new enhancements requested by our users. As a result of the enhancements, it is now more frequently used by faculty and staff, and is promoted by the University’s Faculty Relocation Office.

With property prices appreciating fast are there more options for tenants this year?

We have seen a slight increase in ads so far this summer – our improved service has attracted new landlords whom have never listed with us before.

We have many new members who have invested in student housing. What tips can you provide to help them attract good tenants?

Good landlords attract good tenants. A good landlord is someone who follows the guidelines of the RTA and stands by their responsibilities to maintain their unit accordingly.

Being such a large institution, our users are diverse: undergraduate and graduate students, staff and faculty, as well as students attending other post-secondary schools who are looking for housing in the Toronto/Scarborough/Mississauga.

Our users are looking for places that are fairly close to our three campuses (or near a major transit line), offer competitive rental rates, include utilities, and where possible, a flexible lease agreement (i.e. month-to-month, 8-month leases, or ability to sublet in the summer). We encourage your members to include in their ad any amenities and features that might be attractive to our users such as laundry facilities, dishwasher, a backyard or patio, natural light, air conditioning, or WIFI.

What kinds of things are students looking for in choosing one rental over another?

Move-in date, budget, and location are the key factors, but students are definitely attracted to places that offers some of the amenities and features mentioned above (laundry facilities, dishwasher, a backyard or patio, natural light, air conditioning, or WIFI).

Do you have any tips on how new landlords renting to students can ‘start off right’ for the coming academic year?

To start the tenancy off right, ensure the place is in good condition when the student moves in, so they can focus on getting settled and starting classes without the added stress of trying to sort out maintenance and repair issues.

If the landlord shares a place with the student, it’s important to respect their privacy and remember that a student’s schedule can be very hectic depending on their program. They may have early mornings and late-night study sessions. We encourage our students to be involved on campus, so they need a supportive home environment to make that possible.

Are there anything about rentals that you hear students don’t like and wish landlords would change about rental properties?

The most frequently raised concern is that many landlords want a 12 month lease agreement. This can be a deterrent for students who do not live in Toronto for the summer and need to worry about finding a sublet. We do our best to educate and offer advice on the process of finding a sublet, but it is still something that many students are worried about (especially during their exam period in April).

During the academic year, we hear more about maintenance and repair issues. It would be helpful if landlords provided information at the start of the tenancy on how to request repairs, and promptly resolved maintenance and repair issues when they are brought to their attention.

Tips For Renting To Students

Are you thinking of becoming a student housing landlord? If you are make sure you do a lot of research and you can join a growing community of successful student landlords.

University of Toronto Gives Advice for Ontario Landlords Association Members

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

University of Toronto student landlords Ontario Landlords Association

The Ontario Landlords Association Asked the University of Toronto for Advice On How To Successfully Rent to Great Student Tenants!

Lots of new landlords want to rent to students. And why not? Students are focused on their studies and want to live in a great, safe, comfortable rental property that in no way will distract them from their goal of getting high grades and obtaining their degree. And renting to students is different than renting to experienced tenants from hell.

We contacted the University of Toronto to get some advice we could share for our members. For our previous chat see this link: University of Toronto, How Can Landlords Rent to Students in Ontario

1. I want to rent to U of T students. How can your service help me?

We offer a site where you can advertise your rental unit whether it be short- or long-term, private or shared accommodation. Our HousingFinder site averages 13,000+ visitors each month including U of T, George Brown, OCAD, and ESL school students, as well as U of T staff and faculty and students of other post-secondary institutions.

We offer various pricing options, insider tips on topics such as creating a more attractive ad for students, average rental rates in your area, and current legislation.

Your ad will be visible to our users 24/7, you can track how many times your ad has been viewed, include extensive details, and up to 10 photos.

2. How has your service changed since 2014?

For the first time, we’ve invited our landlords to attend our spring and summer Housing Fairs. This is an opportunity for you to showcase your property, meet prospective tenants, and learn more about our service! Our last fair of 2015 will be on August 22nd.

We’ve also added a new annual ad option ideal for those offering week-to-week rentals to medical electives and sabbaticals.

3. What are U of T students looking for in a good rental and good landlord in 2015?

No matter who you are renting to, a good landlord is someone who follows the guidelines of the RTA and stands by their responsibilities to maintain their unit accordingly.

Students are looking for places that are fairly close to campus (or near a subway line), offer competitive rental rates, include utilities, and a flexible lease agreement (i.e. month-to-month, 8-month leases, or ability to sublet in the summer).

We encourage you to include in the ad any amenities and features about your unit that might be attractive to students such as nearby shops, restaurants or attractions, a backyard or patio, natural lighting, air conditioning, or WIFI.

4. How are students choosing properties to rent? How do they decide?

Many students start by browsing the listings that have photos, match their desired move-in date, and are within their budget. The budget is ultimately the deciding factor but students are definitely attracted to a place that offers some of the amenities and features mentioned above.

5. How can good landlords communicate their goodness and professionalism to student tenants?

When students are calling or viewing a place it’s also an opportunity for the tenant to interview the landlord. Being genuine and professional from the start will not only get your relationship with your tenant off to a good start, but also provide an opportunity for future referrals (word of mouth).

Student Housing and Tenant Insurance

Monday, September 9th, 2013

September 9th, 2013

Barrie Landlords and Student Housing

Last weekend was the start of the month and the start of university and college programmes all over Ontario.

It’s a time when thousands of students arrive at the cities and towns where their schools are located. Some arrived for the first time while thousands returned to continue their studies.

It’s a huge market for landlords.

One place of learning that was busy was Georgian College and that meant lots of students moving to homes owned and operated by Barrie and Orillia landlords.

In fact, according to a report on CTV news over 650 students came to Barrie and Orillia over the Labour Day weekend.

The First On-Campus Residence in Orillia

Parents were impressed by Orillia’s new college residences. The two new buildings have 64 dorms in each leading one of the student’s Dads to say the fact that the buildings are new and clean gave him a good feeling.

It’s always nice when you know you are moving into a nice rental you are confident in.

Students moving from home for their very first time like Amanda Summers explained how she felt both “nervous and exited” at the same time.

At Georgian College lots of returning students were on hand to help frosh and their parents make it through the day.

Lots of Students Coming To Off-Campus Housing

Some students are happy to be out of university housing and living off-campus. The chance to live with friends, share cooking duties and hanging out together is an exciting time for them.

Students and Tenant Insurance

Many students aren’t aware of the value of getting tenant insurance.

Student landlords have a great opportunity to ‘educate’ their student tenants and protect themselves (and help students know how to protect themselves).

Help Your Student Tenants Protect Themselves

A simple phone call can protect students from all kinds of mishaps in and around campus.

There’s the obvious— fire, water damage and theft—concerns but there are also liability concerns.

If someone is injured on the premises or a toilet floods over and causes water damage to a few floors below, it can hugely expensive and time consuming without insurance.

Not every rental unit problem is the landlord’s responsibility either.

“There can be a lot of misconceptions out there,” one insurance expert said. “It depends who was found to be negligent. Tenants can be held responsible.” Without proper insurance, tenants who are found to be at-fault are on the hook for damages.

Tenant insurance is especially important for students because student housing can be more risky than single-family homes thanks to high turnover rates—not to mention the parties.

Protecting possessions from theft is reason enough to seek out coverage.

Students may not have accumulated many material possessions but the belongings they do have is usually pretty valuable like notebook computers, TVs, textbooks and even musical instruments.

For those trying to make ends meet, tenants may be tempted to skip tenant’s insurance to try to cut costs.

Explain to them they should consider the cost of replacing their laptop or smartphone if they were robbed.

Now is a good time to hold class to teach basics of tenant’s insurance and ensure your renters have the right coverage in place to protect themselves.

To Discuss Insurance, Student Housing, and Other Issues Welcome to the Ontario Landlord Forum