Can you deny college students?

College students have a bad reputation when it comes to rental properties. Some of the stereotypes are they are loud, they throw parties, they have too many roommates, they use drugs and drink too much, they break things and are generally hard on properties. So many landlords ask us do I have to accept college students?

No you cannot deny an application because they are college students, this is called discrimination and you can get yourself into a serious lawsuit if your not careful.

Many students do not have an income or enough income to qualify for the property. You most definitely can deny someone if the applicants do not meet your financial criteria. So one strategy for limiting students is to not accept cosigners, a cosigner is a person usually a parent or friend that has enough income to qualify for the rental. A cosigner  will not be living in the property but they are raising their hand and saying I will vouch for these applicants and I will pay if they do not.

Here at TrueDoor we do not like accepting cosigners and here’s why. We want the people living in the property to have the means of qualifying on their own. With their own money and their own credit score. It is really easy for a cosigner to disappear when called upon to pay the rent. So in the case of college students, if they cannot qualify on their own without Mom or Dads help then we will not accept them.

Also the students that are working and going to school that can actually afford your unit are more likely to be responsible and busier with less time to get into trouble. They also have more of an incentive to take care of the property when they are using their own money. So you cannot deny someone for being a student but you can deny someone if they cannot qualify financially on their own.

So when setting up your rental ad be sure you explain your application criteria and include that you do not accept cosigners and that all applicants must be living in the property. Not having this in the ad can lead to misunderstandings and possible disputes.