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What you should consider before investing in Student Housing

When it comes to student housing it is not enough that a student claims studentship of an institution. The landlord should go the extra mile in getting every information necessary before he grants such student tenancy rights.

Building houses close to a student population and constructing halls of residence for students has become a goldmine over the years regardless of the location you find yourself. The beauty of this is that the landlord gets to realise a lot of proceeds from such be it in Lagos, Benin, Ife, Port Harcourt, Abuja even if it is in places like Zamfara and Sokoto or even Kebbi which happens to be the poorest state in Nigeria. As long as that building is specifically for students and is close to a student population, such Landlords are destined to smile to the banks. This makes student hostels one of the most mouth-watering real estate businesses in Nigeria.

Though the beneficiaries of the largesse from constructing student hostels or involvement in student housing in school environments should thank lady luck for the deficit and decay in infrastructure over the years as a result of the rot in our educational sector. The under-funding of the Nations educational sector has served as a eye-opener for some Nigerians who exploit the loophole to their advantage.

Apart from labs, books, equipment etc, hostels are now becoming limited in meeting the housing needs of the student population which increases yearly. In Nigeria, it is worth noting that only a few number of schools have enough accommodation facilities for all their students, some state universities don’t even have at all; they instead depend on private accommodation.

This issue is not peculiar to Nigeria alone as some other universities around the world give their students options of staying on campus or in private hostels. Even when the hostels are available the conditions of living is an eye-sore.

Having addressed the challenge witnessed by those concerned in providing suitable and adequate housing for the ever-increasing student population in our various institutions, it must be stated clearly here that the “so called” housing shortage in our student housing sector has created great investment opportunities for entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

In view of the deplorable state of the hostels in most campuses aside the private ones, a good number of the student population would prefer to get a decent and comfortable private accommodation other than the one obtainable in their institutions at whatever price. This is the more reason why an investment as such becomes a money spinning affair. So if you are a landlord of apartments in areas close to universities, polytechnics and colleges of Education, then you may just have landed yourself a goldmine; one of the surest way to get high returns on your investment.

This real estate business will guarantee you decent flow of wealth annually.

Let’s quickly summarize the advantages of investing in student housing

Advantages of Investing In Student Housing
==> High Rent: Irrespective of the location, student hostels command great rents because of the traffic of students especially when a new session just begins. Demand is often higher than supply driving up rent for the property.

==> Quick Returns: Students rent hostels on a yearly basis. You are guaranteed of occupants year in year out. This enable you recover your investments in a short time. You can save towards building a new hostel or expanding the existing one.

==> No Rent Owed: Contract with student occupants is usually on a yearly basis. New occupants have to pay before moving in. Students’ stay is short so you can easily increase rent gradually.

However this doesn’t come with its demerits. When you rent out your property to people who probably should still be under the care of their parents, there are certain challenges to expect. In fact expect the unexpected. Your tenants may not only be young at heart they may also be immature in their behavioural tendencies and quick to fall into an irresponsible lifestyle. In other words, they need to be monitored and regulated.

uniben hall 4

Some students are noisy and rough and may likely turn your house to Sodom and Gomorrah and so you may have to carry out maintenance more than the usual times and ensure security or possibly institute some disciplinary measures. Due to their long line of friends and acquaintances don’t be surprised when a room meant for just a tenant becomes a mecca of sorts. You may discover that the student occupying your property has a retinue of squatters all in one room.

Parties and social gatherings become the order of the day constituting a menace to more reserved neighbours who might have sought for accommodation off-campus in a search of quietude. Sometimes when there is a break in their academic programme such as during holidays or strike, your hostel may become too vacant that security breach may be an headache.

In addition the incidence of cultism thrives more in off-campus accommodation, so keeping late nights could be detrimental not only for the erring tenant but for his/her neighbours too. One rule that shouldn’t be broken by landlords of hostel buildings is that the rental term for every tenant should not exceed a year so that it will be easy to prune the bad eggs.

Read also: Check Out This Luxury Student Hostel

Also you wouldn’t lose money during vacation if you collect rent annually.

Furthermore collecting caution fees or security deposit will caution unruly students against damages to your property.  You may also need clear cut guidelines, rules and regulations that should govern their stay in your property and also ensure that they create an ennobling environment for co-habiting. The proper conduct of every student admitted to such property should be pivotal in admittance and it should be spelt out clearly that any student found wanting will be asked to vacant such property when due with no option of renewal as stated in the agreement.

Every information necessary should be obtained from the tenants and they should have at least two guarantors from their institution and home front. The guarantor from the school should definitely be an academic staff most preferably a lecturer in their various departments or Faculty who can vouch for them and of course their guardians and possibly a professional of working class status who is a close affiliate of the family in question.

Bottom-line, it is essential you get cogent information and details on any student you may want to admit into your property from their parents/guardian and departments.

On the contrary most students in Federal universities, polytechnics(state inclusive) and colleges of Education are from average/low income households. Invariably, small housing apartments becomes more popular among such students. Therefore, you could be wasting money building hostels that students can’t afford.

Popular Student Hostel Designs
Below are some of the investment options that a real estate investor can implement in the business of building student hostels.

==> Single rooms facing each other (Face-Me-I-Face-You)
==> Room and Parlour Converted
==> Single room ensuite (Self-Con)
==> A bedroom flat


Read also: Top 5 Most Beautiful Campuses in Nigeria
Finally you may need an experienced hand to manage your property; a sort of caretaker who would see to the proper conduct of students and monitoring of the facilities therein. If the aforementioned is adhered to strictly and carried out judiciously, then the reputation of your hostel accommodation can never be tarnished and your property will attract the best, possibly the richest of them.

Most students in higher institutions are from average/low income households. This is why small housing apartments are more popular among students. Don’t waste your money building hostels that most students cannot afford.

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