As the Boston student population grows, challenges to finding adequate housing continue to rise.
Since the growing student population outpaces the adequate housing available, landlords are becoming more selective when renting apartments. Landlords see student tenants as riskier because they tend to lack established credit and often forego an income to study. While age cannot legally factor in a landlord’s decision to rent to students, school status can. As a result, landlords are able to decline students as renters.
International students, which make up 23% of the Boston student population, are even worse off. Traditionally, US students can get a cosigner — usually a parent — to help mitigate some risk. For international students, it becomes more difficult when both the student and parent lack US credit history.
To counter this, landlords sometimes require extra security deposit as collateral. However, Boston regulation prevents landlords from doing this by limiting the amount of upfront cost they can take from a renter — the first month, last month, and one month’s rent. With competitive demand for housing and increased regulation around renting, international students are seeking help from brokers and agents to find a place to live. Many also take advantage of housing services that cater to international students. In fact, companies such as Hooli and Uhouzz were specifically created to streamline the renting process for international tenants by bridging language barriers and acting as a guide to the real estate market.
“It’s becoming more common to see landlords not renting to students at all”, says Robert Schmidt, Managing Director at TheGuarantors, “which leaves students seeking the needle in a haystack — adequate housing that will accept them. That’s when our products come into play.”
As a solution to this landlord-student conflict, TheGuarantors risk-management platform offers innovative insurance-based products to enhance the leasing experience for all involved. With products including Lease Guarantee, Renters Insurance, and Security Deposit Replacement, landlords are more willing to accept student renters because payments and coverage are guaranteed from a reputable insurance provider.
Robert adds, “TheGuarantors services level this playing field and in some cases, actually gives these students an advantage.”
TheGuarantors works directly with many of the top brokerages in Boston including Hooli Homes, Uhouzz, Gold Real Estate, and Next Gen. Landlords are also enthusiastic about this offering — TheGuarantors has seen wonderful reception from Equity Residential, The Hamilton Company, and Church Park, among others. Currently, TheGuarantors has over 10,000 units in Boston accepting its Lease Guarantee. With buildings being added on a regular basis, many potential renters may even get pre-approved by TheGuarantors prior to shopping for an apartment, which further streamlines a daunting and seemingly impossible task.
Robert concludes by saying, “Tenants — especially students — will continue to find ways to alleviate housing struggles, which in turn will require landlords to respond. Since TheGuarantors seeks to remedy both of these issues by mitigating the landlords’ risk, we expect to see its presence in Boston skyrocket.”