Student townhouses and condominiums are typically a safe bet, if they are in close proximity (i.e. one short bus ride with no transfers) to campus and near amenities. Student townhouses usually have 4 or 5 bedrooms, so they provided more monthly rental income then apartments, and the same level of maintenance and problems with tenants. The reason for this is because with townhouses, the exterior is typically taken care of through the condo fees, and the Landlord is on the hook for this fee, utilities, and maintenance on the interior. Townhouses have slightly higher utility, insurance, and wear and tear in regards to an apartment but they also bring in a decent monthly cash flow. A great strategy is to try and get a group of students to rent the townhouse with the utilities not included. Therefore, only the property taxes, insurance, and condo fees would be paid for by the owner. This is the ultimate sweet spot for a single Landlord who is looking to purchase multiple student rental properties and keep their sanity along the way.
Single family residential properties are the standard student rental properties that are found closest to Western University campus and even Fanshawe College. These are the 5,6 (even 7 or 8!) bedroom student rental properties that are typically older homes, have several bedrooms, and provided a very good level of cash flow each month. These houses are expensive to buy, expensive to maintain, and the owner/Landlord should be hiring a rental agent/property manager to take care of the issues that arise from the property. The exterior (roof, windows, doors, grass, raking, cleaning garbage, cleaning eaves troughs, etc.) maintenance of a student house is enough to outsource to a company to handle the heavy load. Student houses typically have lower turnover, as a group usually stays multiple years in the same place until they have earned their degree/diploma. The larger student rental houses fit more students, meaning more income, and the value of these properties increases at a much higher rate than inflation.
There are several different types of student accommodation, and there is much more that is not included here. However, this list of accommodation brings insight to a Landlord who is getting into the business, or a Landlord in London, Ontario who is looking to move out of the comfort zone and purchase a different type of property for students. A good student rental real estate portfolio includes several different types of student accommodation to be diversified and to minimize any risk.