Navigating Student Rentals in London, Ontario

Property manager

May 27, 2024

London, Ontario, is home to several prominent educational institutions, including Western University and Fanshawe College. This makes it an attractive market for student rentals. However, managing student rentals comes with its own set of challenges. Here are some essential tips from LSK Property Management to help you navigate student rentals effectively.

1. Understand the Market Dynamics

Student rentals are unique because they have a high turnover rate and specific leasing periods aligned with the academic calendar. Understand when students typically look for housing—often several months before the start of the school year. Market your property accordingly to ensure it’s rented out in time.

2. Set Clear Rental Terms

Establish clear rental terms in your lease agreements. Include provisions specific to student rentals, such as lease duration aligning with the academic year, subletting policies, and rules about noise and parties. Clearly outline tenant responsibilities regarding maintenance and common areas to avoid disputes later.

3. Screen Tenants Thoroughly

While students may not have extensive rental histories, thorough screening is still crucial. Check for references from previous landlords or housing supervisors and verify their enrollment status. Parents or guardians often act as co-signers, providing additional financial security. LSK Property Management can help with a comprehensive screening process to ensure reliable tenants.

4. Regular Property Inspections

Regular property inspections are vital for maintaining the condition of your rental. Schedule periodic inspections to check for damages and ensure that the property is being cared for. These inspections can also help identify maintenance issues early, preventing costly repairs later. Be sure to give proper notice to tenants as required by law.

5. Manage Wear and Tear

Student rentals typically experience more wear and tear. Plan for this by using durable materials for furnishings and fixtures. Consider repainting and deep cleaning the property between tenancies. Budget for regular maintenance and minor repairs to keep the property in good condition.

6. Effective Communication

Maintain open lines of communication with your student tenants. Encourage them to report maintenance issues promptly and make it easy for them to reach you. Use technology to your advantage by offering online portals for rent payments and maintenance requests. Good communication helps in building a positive landlord-tenant relationship and reduces misunderstandings.

7. Provide a Safe and Comfortable Environment

Ensure your rental property is safe and secure. Install adequate lighting, secure locks, and smoke detectors. Students and their parents will appreciate these safety measures, which can also enhance the property’s appeal. Creating a comfortable living environment with necessary amenities can lead to better tenant retention.

8. Professional Property Management

Managing student rentals can be time-consuming and challenging. Enlisting the services of a professional property management company like LSK Property Management can alleviate much of this burden. We handle everything from tenant screening and lease management to maintenance and inspections, ensuring your investment is well-protected.

9. Know the Legal Requirements

Familiarize yourself with the legal requirements for renting to students in Ontario. Understand your obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act, including notice periods, maintenance standards, and tenant rights. Compliance with these laws is crucial to avoid legal issues and maintain a positive reputation.

By being cautious and proactive, you can successfully manage student rentals in London, Ontario.