In a recent blog post we reviewed a case involving a dispute between resident owners and investor owners who were leasing their units on a short-term basis, primarily to university students. This type of conflict frequently arises in condominium buildings that are located close to university and college campuses.

Resident owners have a number of concerns about short-term student tenants:

  • Young student tenants tend to be noisier and less concerned about disturbing the quiet enjoyment of other residents;
  • Multiple tenants increase traffic in the building, resulting in additional security concerns;
  • With multiple moves in and out of the building there is increased damage to the common elements, particularly as many students do not use professional movers;
  • Transient tenants negatively affect the sense of community in the condominium as there is no “pride of ownership.”

Now developers are developing condominium buildings specifically to provide rental accommodation to students. One developer is marketing units to investors that are designed to provide accommodation for students at Carleton University. Unlike most condominiums, these units are being sold fully-furnished and housekeeping/cleaning of units will be provided. Providing furnished units will alleviate elevator reservations for moves in and out of the building and will decrease the risk of damage to the common elements during these moves. Supplying regular cleaning services will help maintain standards of cleanliness in the building, instead of relying on individual resident tenants, and will also help owners and managers monitor the state of repair of their units. In order to appeal to investors, this condominium will provide property management services, which include finding and managing tenants for the unit owners.

Traditional on-campus university and college residences are expensive and the supply is not sufficient to meet the demand for student accommodation. For some parents, purchasing a student condominium may be an attractive alternative.

With a more homogeneous demographic among residents, these purpose-built student condominiums should diminish the conflicts that often arise between student residents and long-term resident owners.