DO: Consult with other Landlords in the area.
Talking to Landlords who own student rental properties in the area you are looking at will give you a great idea as to what it takes to have a winning product. They will let you know the challenges of the neighborhood, and how to overcome them. They are knowledgeable and have real world experience of the tenants, rent prices, amenities, and geographic area.
DON’T: Buy a house that when you close on it, is not rented.
There is no reason to buy a university investment property in London, Ontario without it being rented for ideally 12 months after you purchase it. The reason why it’s an investment is because it is generating income, and if you buy a university investment in London Ontario that is only rented it for 1 or 2 months (or even empty) when you take it over you better be getting a huge discount on the price. The only exception to this rule is if you are an experienced Landlord, and you are going to buy the house, upgrade/renovate, rent, and have the tenants move in. This should take a maximum of 60 days to complete otherwise you are losing money on carrying costs.
DO: Call a property rental and management company PRIOR to buying your investment property
Sometimes I get a call from new Landlord saying “Hello I bought this property on ________ street in London because my Realtor said it’s a great university investment area. Can you find students to rent out the house for me?” Sometimes they bought the house in the right area, for the right price, that is updated, that is a natural student rental property. Sometimes, these properties are 5-10 KM away from the campus, in a run-down area, with no student rental in the neighborhood. By making a phone call to a property rental company in London, Ontario that specialized in Western University student accommodation, you might save yourself a lot of time, money and effort as we can tell you where to buy your property, and what you need to do to make it attractive for students to rent your house.
DON’T: Buy a student rental property in London, Ontario without a Residential Landlord License
The City of London enacted a by-law in 2010 that regulates all London Ontario University/College student accommodation housing. Landlords need to obey the rules and make sure they are up to date with their rental license. Buying a property that already has a residential landlord license is much easier than trying to get one yourself because there may be a lot of retrofitting/upgrades that can cost thousands of dollars prior to getting the license.