University of Toronto – More Top Tips for Ontario Landlords Who Want To Rent to Students
Our post last Spring advising Ontario landlords how to successfully rent to students led to hundreds of emails coming in.
Landlords across Ontario kept telling us how much they appreciated the advice presented by the helpful Manager of Rental Housing Service for the University of Toronto.
It looks like more investors are looking at renting to students as way to create a profitable rental business. We even had some Alberta landlords send some questions in.
One of the highlights of the mail was from a BC landlord. She wrote how the latest CBC News story on some “serial tenants” in British Columbia has led her to thinking of changing her rental business strategy to renting to students only and thanked us for the tips.
The manager is Jennifer Radley and the U of T is lucky to have such an helpful person who cares about student tenants and wants to help student landlords (because creating more educated and professional landlords helps students in the long run).
Here are more questions and answers from Jennifer to help landlords successfully rent to great student tenants.
1. Do students normally have guarantors who can sign the lease?
Not always, especially if they are international students.
Some students will obtain a letter from their Professor or Registrar confirming that they are a F/T student and most likely have the financial means to study/live at U of T.
2. Do students like furnished apartments (beds, tables, chairs, etc.)?And will they
be willing to pay for the furnishings?
Yes, many students do like furnished apartments. The ideal situation is where furnishings is optional. Depending on how much extra, they could be willing to pay.
3. Most students are pretty young. Is it worthwhile to do a tenant credit check on
them before renting?”
We do recommend that landlords protect themselves, but many students may not have much of a credit history, so what you find out may be limited.
However, most students do have funding to cover the costs for their studies, including housing, which they may be able to provide you with evidence of, and may also be able to show they have been responsible in paying off their tuition and other fees to date.
4. How can I screen student tenants?
We recommend treating a viewing like an interview – ask them questions about past tenancies (if applicable), their source(s) of funding (e.g. OSAP, grants, awards, employment income, etc.), how long they are here to study, etc. and also ask for references – past landlords, registrars, residence deans, etc.
5. Engineering students have a reputation as party animals who wreck their
residences. Any truth to this in 2014?
Not in our experience – most of our residences actually have the opposite experience: Engineering students are so busy with their heavy workload, they do not do engage in enough social activities.
Most engineering students tell us they can only afford to do non-school related activities one night a week.
6. Is it true Masters & PhD students are better tenants compared to undergrads?
Not necessarily. U of T is a challenging school that attracts high caliber students for all its programs.
Most U of T students are hard workers who take their studies, and their financial commitments, very seriously.
7. How can I explain to students I’m a good landlord who only wants rent paid on
time and won’t bother the students at all and will fix things?”
Tell them. Students are looking for honest, kind and hard-working landlords – similar to hat landlords look for in a tenant.
8. Should I hire a female property manager if all the tenants are female nursing
That is not required.
9. Does the University of Toronto have a department to deal with tenant complaints?”
Yes, Housing Services! We have a formal complaints process for both landlords and student tenants.
Ontario Landlords – Do you want to rent to students?
Learn from the advice provided by the University of Toronto and become the type of landlord student tenants are looking for.