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...he only does grad-school tenants. He feels they did the wild stuff, and now they really just care about working and getting their Masters.

Our rental is in a "city" with a large research university and two hospitals, one affiliated with the university. We have a nice SFH, which when rented to couples/families is subject to constant turnover as they get to know the area and move on to buy their own place after a year. It is substantially cheaper to own than rent here, particularly with current mortgage rates, so our best candidate for tenant will not be someone capable of buying and eying the area for long term residence.

Our current tenants are 4 young nurses, who were looking to upgrade accommodations in their second year on the job, but meeting resistance against renting to 4 unrelated 22 year olds. Stellar credit, good jobs, and hey, decent job security given we were at the start of a pandemic. I figured that given we were considering them old enough to risk their lives to save ours, we could give them the benefit of trusting them with the house while setting up a system of educating them on the gap in their education between a managed apartment building and a single family house. Was a great decision.

A friend was telling me she rents to grad students and had not had to do a turnover in 5 years. She no longer has the original group, but it was a rotating bunch of grad students where at lease renewal some would stay and find replacement students they could live with to replace the ones that left, subject to landlord vetting, of course. And that's exactly what happened with our nurses at renewal. One left for personal reasons, moving away with her boyfriend, and the three remaining found another young woman to replace her, this one a PHD candidate visiting researcher who will only be there one year. She passed my vetting and will be moving in soon. With any luck, I will not have to do a turnover for many years either.

One compromise I had to make was in earnings of 3 times rent. Most places will insist that each tenant, if not married, have to independently earn 3X rent, each. We had to be guarantor's for our oldest son after he graduated college but did not have a year of earnings under his belt that met the 3X rent for him and his 2 roommates. We could have gone the guarantor route with our tenants, but chose to look at 3X earnings for their portion of the rent, while explaining to them that the lease was joint and several, meaning that they were collectively and individually responsible for the full rent, so that if one did not meet their obligation the others would have to make up the difference. Further we had one tenant specified in the lease to be the one to electronically deposit the rent into our account. She was the one to collect from the others and give us the whole. We wanted no say in who owed what, and left it up to them to decide which bedroom got what portion of the rent assigned to it.

We made it easy for these young women to upgrade, and before we knew it, the spacious house was filled with new furniture. We OKed improvements they wanted to have done to the house, like repainting certain rooms with approved colors on their dime. It will not be easy for them to find another place to accommodate their increased belongings. If they move out, others will treat them like the now 23 year olds they still are. I know I would have a hard time swallowing that if I were they.

Keep in mind that you are selling more than a roof over their head. Nicer places tend to be more nicely maintained. If you buy a student cr@p house, you are likely to get tenants that will treat it poorly. Give them a taste of adult privilege and responsibility and it will be hard at their age to move back to being treated like children.

YMMV, but there are a lot of rentals where we are, and if you are generic, you have to compete with other generic's by keeping your price low. We are not as high as some, but most definitely not cheap.


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