Portland is home to 22 colleges and universities, including the University of Portland, Portland State University, Reed College, and more. From private universities to two-year community colleges, our area is fortunate to offer many education opportunities to its students. And with so many students enjoying our city and its possibilities, the demand for student housing is also high. For landlords, renting to students presents a unique set of opportunities and challenges, making it a decision that requires careful consideration. Let’s look at the pros and cons associated with leasing properties to students, as well as some tips on managing your student rentals.

Pros of Renting to Students

While many landlords may assume that renting to students isn’t as lucrative, it can actually offer several advantages. With the proper management, it can be a great strategy to improve your ROI with a sustainable rental population.

Steady Demand

Students are a constant source of demand for rental properties, especially in areas with educational institutions such as ours. The high turnover rate ensures that vacant units are likely to be filled quickly.

High Rental Yields

Another notable advantage is the potential for high rental yields. Due to the nature of student living, where multiple students often share a single property, landlords have the opportunity to earn higher rental income. The pooling of resources among tenants can result in increased profitability for property owners.


Many students rely on their parents or guardians to act as guarantors for the lease, which serves as an additional layer of financial security for landlords. In case of any payment issues, landlords have the assurance that they can turn to the guarantors for resolution. This financial backing provides peace of mind for property owners.

Shorter Leases

Students typically prefer shorter leases, often aligned with the academic year. This arrangement allows landlords to reassess rental rates more frequently and make adjustments based on market conditions. The flexibility in lease terms can be advantageous for both parties, providing an opportunity to adapt to changing circumstances.

Cons of Renting to Students

Of course, many benefits of renting to students also come with drawbacks. Because student rentals tend to have higher turnover, barriers to steady income, and regular vacancies, landlords may need to compensate. 

Increased Wear and Tear

One significant concern is the potential for increased wear and tear on the property. With frequent turnover and shared living arrangements, the property may experience higher levels of maintenance issues, leading to increased costs for landlords.

Unreliable Income

Payment reliability can also be a concern. Students who are juggling the costs of a full course load without the time to work full time may face challenges in paying rent consistently. This underscores the importance of thorough tenant screening to ensure that students renting the property are responsible and financially reliable. Landlords may also require additional financial assurances to mitigate payment risks.

Noise and Disruptions

Noise and disruptions are another aspect to consider, particularly in neighborhoods with a high student population. Weekends and exam periods can be noisy, and landlords should establish clear rules regarding noise levels to maintain a peaceful living environment for all tenants.

Summer Vacancies

During academic breaks, many students return home, leaving properties vacant. Landlords may need to strategize to minimize vacancies during these periods, such as by listing their units as short-term rentals.

Furnished Rooms

Students often look for furnished properties since they are remaining in the area on a more temporary basis. As a result, the wear on furniture and appliances can be higher. This means landlords may need to invest more in durable furnishings or replace worn-out furnishings more often.

6 Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Renting to Students

While renting to students can offer some unique challenges, there are many ways you can help ensure that you and your student tenants have an excellent rental experience. Check out our top six tips:

  1. Careful screening: Screen tenants carefully, checking references and requiring guarantors. This can help ensure that students renting your property are responsible and financially reliable. However, ensure you are remaining in line with Portland’s new screening guidelines, which were updated recently.
  2. Clear lease agreements: Clearly outline rules and expectations in the lease agreement. This includes policies on noise levels, maintenance responsibilities, and any specific rules related to student living.
  3. Regular inspections: Conduct scheduled inspections to assess the condition of the property. This allows you to identify and address issues promptly, minimizing potential damages.
  4. Stay on top of maintenance: Seasonal maintenance is a must in our area, as the hot, dry summers and rainy winters require a lot of property upkeep. Ensure that you’re staying on top of your regular maintenance schedule to help prevent a maintenance issue from becoming a costly repair.
  5. Flexible lease terms: Consider offering flexible lease terms to align with the academic calendar. This can attract more students and reduce the risk of vacancies during breaks.
  6. Quality communication: Good communication is one of the most important tenets of being a good landlord. Establish open lines of communication with tenants. Encourage them to report issues promptly and address concerns in a timely manner.

Ready to Rent to Portland’s Student Population?

While renting to students can be a lucrative venture, it requires careful planning and management to navigate the unique dynamics of student housing. But dealing with tenant issues is one of the most stressful parts of managing a property, and if anything goes wrong with your student rental you may face some challenges. If you are considering renting to students in the Portland area, working with a reliable property management service can make the process smoother and more efficient. 

Consider partnering with Rent Portland Homes Darla Andrew’s Office, a trusted name in property management. With our expertise and commitment to client satisfaction, we can help you navigate the complexities of student rentals while maximizing the benefits. Take the next step toward a successful rental experience by reaching out to us today at (503) 515-3170 for more information.