How to Rent to International Students

In September 2019, the Canadian Government made a commitment to attract more international students to study in Canada. The economic impact of these 721,205 students is reported to be between 15 to 23 billion dollars – with landlords poised perfectly to gain in this growing market.

A common misconception, that bars many from entering this segment of the housing market is that students are high-risk tenants. True, most students have low-to-no credit, with international students lacking Canadian credit entirely. However, this does not indicate a lack of funds. 

What landlords need to know is that in order to obtain a study permit in Canada, international students must prove they have sufficient funds to cover their stay for the period they are studying in Canada. Not to mention, international students tend to secure longer term housing, making them a reliable and steady source of tenants for landlords.

If you’re looking to attract international students, here’s some advice:

  1. Be listed on off-campus housing lists. In order to be included, just reach out to university and college Housing Services Offices. These tend to be the first stop for most international students on their hunt for housing. Also, acquainting with Housing Services also provides landlords a place to submit tenant complaints should the tenant student be problematic.
  2. Streamline the application process. Likely there will be multiple candidates applying. While international students do arrive with a verified income, it doesn’t circumvent the application process. In fact, credit reports are often still pulled which is the biggest barrier to securing housing. International students likely don’t have credit, much less, Canadian credit. The solution is advertising that your property is partnered with LOCNEST and encourage students to apply for a pre-approval to assures that these students are guaranteed in the event of lease default and damage – and it’s provided up-front, meaning no need for lengthy or time consuming manual credit checks.
  3. Consider furnishing the apartment. The students are not only living abroad, they are paying significantly more for tuition. They are less likely to move during their studies, especially if the apartment is perceived as a good value – this includes saving on furniture costs.
  4. Make it convenient. Include the cost of internet in the rent, and if possible, heat and electricity as well.
  5. Provide information! Either in a package left in the unit on moving day or even listed in the ad – let the students know what amenities are in the area, public transportation routes and hours, as well as some information on basic maintenance such as how to defrost a freezer, quiet hours or how to operate the laundry. It is their first home, and they may need some support in knowing how to take care of it. 

Still have questions when it comes to renting to International students, then email us now or call us directly at 1-833-LOCNEST and we would be happy to provide more information.



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