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How To Write a Student Housing Lease Agreement

How To Write a Student Housing Lease Agreement
The lease agreement is the most important component of any rental arrangement, including student housing. The following template will give landlords a general idea of how to make a lease agreement.   Please note that this document is just a sample and landlords are advised to seek legal advice to modify or update their lease document in accordance with their rental accommodation(s) and local housing laws.  SAMPLE LEASE AGREEMENT:   This lease agreement is made this [ENTER NUMBER] day of [ENTER MONTH], [ENTER YEAR], between the following parties:   Landlord: ____________________________________________________________________ Address:   ____________________________________________________________________ Phone #:   ____________________________________________________________________   Tenant(s): ____________________________________________________________________ Address:    ____________________________________________________________________ Phone #:    ____________________________________________________________________  Rental Property: The property being leased by the landlord to the tenant(s) is located at [ENTER ADDRESS] and includes the following furnishing, appliances, etc. [ENTER EXACTLY WHAT IS INCLUDED]. These furnishings, appliances, etc. are expected to be returned in the same condition, minus normal wear and tear, at the end of the lease term.   Lease Term: The rental accommodations are leased for a term of [ENTER NUMBER OF MONTHS], beginning on[ENTER TERM START DATE] and concluding on [ENTER TERM END DATE]. The tenant(s) will take possession at[ENTER TIME] on the term start date and will surrender possession at [ENTER TIME] on the term end date.   Rental Rate: The monthly rental rate shall be [ENTER $ AMOUNT] per month, which is to be paid on the [ENTER DAY] of each month. Rent payments are to be made by [ENTER HOW TENANTS ARE EXPECTED TO PAY / THE OPTIONS OF PAYMENT]. In the event that rent payment(s) are not made in full upon the due date, a [ENTER $ AMOUNT] late charge will......
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Should Student Housing Properties Be Pet-Friendly?

Should Student Housing Properties Be Pet-Friendly?
If you were to ask any apartment hunter with a pet about their experiences trying to find a pet-friendly accommodation, chances are they’ll tell you how difficult it can be to find rentals that accept pets.   Apartment searching for pet owners can be particularly difficult. With so many people owning pets, one would assume that rental property owners would be more inclined to cater to tenants with pets, but this often isn’t the case. Rentals that do not allow pets can actually be eliminating a huge amount of potential renters. For example, let’s look at the millennial renter demographic. It’s been reported by Appfolio that approximately 76%+ of millennials own either cats or dogs. This means that rentals which prohibit pets are automatically eliminating over ¾ of the tenant pool right off the bat. This leaves approximately 24% of eligible millennial renters for those accommodations to compete for. It becomes clear that no-pet policies can actually work against landlords and property managers when it comes to leasing.   A recent survey found that 83% of respondents who were pet owners stated they found it difficult to find a pet-friendly rental and 56% reported having not been able to secure an apartment, due to a no-pets policy. In total, 21% of respondents reported that they had to give away a pet in order to find a rental accommodation..Many jurisdictions have ruled that it is legal for landlords to prohibit pets from inhabiting a rental unit. There are only a few places where pet owners have the law ......
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Social Media Faux Pas for Student Housing Managers and Communities

Social Media Faux Pas for Student Housing Managers and Communities
Let’s rewind a decade to the beginning of 2005: Blockbuster was still in its prime. Facebook was still called “the Facebook”, membership was exclusive to select colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and it boasted roughly 5 million registered users. For business purposes, social media was largely nonexistent at this point. Since then, organizations have begun adopting social media as a means to sell products and services, provide customer support, and to engage with their audiences. While many businesses and organizations identified the need to be on social media, once they got there, they often didn’t know exactly what to do. In particular, the student housing industry has been relatively slow at adopting social media. The communities that have accepted it often have difficulty navigating the social media landscape and understanding how to effectively use it. This inexperience with using social media can cause some student housing communities to commit what we refer to as a social media faux pas. We’ve highlighted some of the key faux pas to avoid committing below.   1. Registering for Every Social Media Platform Imaginable While it does make sense for a student housing community to secure a brand name on social platforms, there are many different social media networks that aren’t a good fit for these brands. It’s productive to be on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ but not necessarily on Pinterest, Tumblr, Vine, Ello, Flickr, etc. (you get the point). Rather than signing up for every social media platform, it’s best to focus on the on......
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How Student Housing Can Prepare for Ever More Mobile Generations

How Student Housing Can Prepare for Ever More Mobile Generations
The multifamily industry—and student housing in particular—has keyed in on the needs, wants and expectations of the millennial crowd. You know the importance of mobile as it relates to your offerings, residents and prospects. Mobile convenience, on-demand services, free Wi-Fi, high-speed Internet, the list goes on. Just remember: Those aren’t millennial-only expectations! Let’s look at student housing as an example. Yes, millennials are still in college, especially as grad students. But even more important in the coming years is Generation Z, the oldest of which are headed to college RIGHT NOW. Parents, guardians and other family members also have expectations that property managers need to listen to and manage. These people may be in different “demographic” generations, but they are all increasingly mobile-focused.  In other words, you need to ensure that whoever interacts with your student housing community has the most seamless, convenient experience. A responsive website is obvious, but think about what happens next. If students or parents want to ask questions, for example, do they still have to call or email? Or do you offer the instant gratification of chat, text and video?  Mobile-friendly messaging options aren’t for everyone, but not offering them could soon be a big disadvantage. Take a look at how you could appeal to and engage students and their family members (of any age) via text and chat. Parents & Guardians: Engaging in New Ways  The parents of today’s college students are most likely part of the Baby Boomer or Generation X groups. Regardless of actual age, mos......
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Is Student Housing Still A Niche Market?

Is Student Housing Still A Niche Market?
Rewind to a decade ago and major REITs would have quickly dismissed student housing as a small niche market with minimal investment potential. The concept of purpose built student housing was almost exclusive to on-campus housing; aside from a few early adopters who helped usher in a new era of student focused accommodations. Outside of on-campus housing, students would by and large rent properties from independent landlords or local apartments. However, in 2015, the student housing sector has seemingly outgrown its status as a small niche market.   A niche market is typically characterized as serving a very specific need to a relatively small market segment. While student housing can still technically be considered a niche market, the size of the market has grown to a point where it’s drifting from this characterization.   This holds particularly true in the United States, where in 2014 alone, nearly 60,000 new private student housing beds were delivered to the market. The Canadian market, on the other hand, has seen slower growth; but it too is developing quickly. Rock Advisors stated that in 2013, there were over 950,000 full-time students enrolled at the 82 largest university campuses in Canada and 55% of these students attend universities outside of the communities they grew up in. Rock Advisors go on to say that there are over half a million students in need of places to live. This number will continue to increase, and as it does, the Canadian student housing sector will inevitably follow a similar path to its American counterpart. ......
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Why I Pay Twice As Much For A Cup Of Coffee

Why I Pay Twice As Much For A Cup Of Coffee
I'm at Starbucks almost every day. It's not because I'm rolling in the dough. Starting your own business means you have to be scrappy. You have to tighten up your belt. Nope, I still pay almost double for my morning cup of Joe because Starbucks pays attention to the small details.  Starbucks, in other words, is premium. Think about those two things for a second. One, offering premium services means a hyper focused attention to small details. And two, people are willing to pay ridiculous prices for your product if you do.  Here's my typical experience when I go hang out at Starbucks. Logistics Design: I walk in and order my coffee. The line is usually short but, when it's not, it moves quickly. Since I'm ordering a drip coffee, they immediately pour it for me when I get to the register. I don't have to wait behind someone that ordered a double frappuccino with skim milk, whipped cream and chocolate syrup. I hand the card to the Barista (instead of having slide the card myself.), no "debit or credit" question, no entering in a pin, no waiting for the software to log onto the internet. Nope, just hand my card, they hand it right back. Done. That is not an accident. That is a well planned logistic design strategy.  Interior Design: I grab my venti cup, walk over to a table and place my backpack on the back-end of the seat. A seat that is purposely heavier than normal chairs so the weight of my bag......
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Combating Student Housing NIMBYism

Combating Student Housing NIMBYism
NIMBY [nim-bee]: An acronym standing for not in my backyard. It’s commonly used to express opposition by a group of people towards the development of a residential, commercial or civic project, such as student housing. In such a circumstance, the group believes that the project will have adverse effects on the surrounding community, often leading to decreased property values. In many cases, these community members identify the need for such a project, but prefer it be developed outside of their neighborhood.   So how does NIMBYism relate to student housing? To start, it’s a relatively common occurrence for local or neighborhood collectives to voice opposition towards the development of major student housing projects, citing reasons such as increased noise, decreased property values and vandalism. Many groups often paint a pretty negative portrayal of student housing.   This sense of NIMBYism is often echoed through media channels, as these stories are picked up because they stir up a lot of controversy and attention. Almost every other week there is a story about student housing being opposed or rejected. Here are just a few examples:  Concerns over new student housing development near McGill Student-housing plan faces opposition in Fort Collins Homeowners complain of student housing growth in Hamilton Purpose-built student housing will not be permitted in the downtown urban core   While scanning student housing news, it quickly becomes clear that NIMBYism is a big problem in this sector.   One of the most troublesome things about NIMBYism in student housing is how the opinions of few......
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Hey Student Housing, Stop Playing Top 40 in Your Clubhouses

Hey Student Housing, Stop Playing Top 40 in Your Clubhouses
Important Update: I recently discovered, thanks to an industry colleague (Thanks Lindsay B!), that playing music in the manner described below does not comply with the terms and servicing of music providers. UGH. You can read more about this in this article. In short, the major music distributors see this type of streaming as a way to increase the customer experience and they want a cut of the action. So, unless we're willing to dish out more than 9.99 per month (a lot more apparently) the method below is a no-no. What a shame, I know. My new mission is to figure out how to get good music into our clubhouses while appeasing the musical gods. So sorry for the confusion, stay tuned. --- Music in our clubhouses and models isn't something we tend to put a lot of thought into. Most of us throw on Pandora or a top 40 radio station. But is there more to it than that? Is there a more scientific approach to stimulating this one of five senses we're taught to cater to? I think there may be, especially for student housing and the 18 – 24 year old demo. In our college years we tend to break away from the norm, from the mainstream. We're on a mission to define who we are. What better defines us than the music we listen to? During our prepubescent to teenage years we tend to listen to whatever pop culture says we should be listening to - N'SYNC, O......
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The Best Cities in Canada To Invest In Student Housing - Province by Province

The Best Cities in Canada To Invest In Student Housing - Province by Province
It’s a widely known fact that many Canadian cities suffer from a shortage of off-campus & purpose-built student housing. There are a handful of Canadian cities that have capitalized upon the demand for student housing, but there is still a great deal of investment potential within the student housing market across the country.   Here’s a look at each of the provinces, with the leading student housing cities highlighted, based upon a variety of criteria. The criteria includes: student enrollment & projected growth, rental rates, availability of on-campus housing, vacancy rates, number of academic institutions and more.   Ontario – Guelph:   Without question, Ontario is the most developed province in terms of student housing. Ontario is home to approximately 40 universities (both publicly and privately funded) and over 25 colleges. Choosing a top city for student housing in Ontario is difficult, as there are many profitable markets for student housing investments.At one point in time, Waterloo was the champion; however, it has been contended that Waterloo has become overbuilt with student housing since then. Henry Morton, President of Campus Suites, claims that there is a trio of southern Ontario markets that are being overbuilt: Waterloo, London and Oshawa. These three cities previously were in contention for the top Ontario city for student housing, but in recent years have become less attractive markets. These three cities still do have a great deal of investment potential, but the competition has heated up dramatically, making it less appealing to investors.  In November 2014, Rock Advisors indicated that ......
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Is Buying Student Housing For Your Children a Good Investment?

Is Buying Student Housing For Your Children a Good Investment?
The number $22,958 represents the average cost of tuition and fees in 2014-15 for out-of-state students attending a public university, according to the College Board. On top of that, room and board is estimated to cost $9,804 per year, bringing the grand total to $32,762 per year to attend a public, out-of-state university. These figures explain why many students will rely on their parents for financial assistance with their academic careers.   In many instances, parents will not only help finance a student’s tuition, but also their rent. In 2012, the National Apartment Association surveyed 3,605 parents with children attending college or university and found that 56% of respondents paid for 100% of their students rent. Only 13% reported that their children paid for rent entirely by themselves.   This is likely why some parents contemplate the option of purchasing student housing, instead of paying rent to landlords. But is it a smart financial move for parents to purchase student housing for their children?   The answer isn’t exactly a definitive “yes” or “no” and several considerations come into play. There is a calculated risk involved with making a financial commitment and investing in student housing. Too often, parents make their decision by only looking at the “potential” amount of money they could save, but fail to take into account other important factors.    Here are several factors that need to be assessed before making the decision to invest in student housing for your children.   1. Profitability: In certain instances, inexperienced student housing landlords can overshoot the profitabili......
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