Winning the Interest Rate Battle Part 2

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Renting to International students: A guide for Homeowners

Students from across the globe find Canada an attractive place to pursue their college or university education.   

According to data released by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC), Canada’s international student population stood at nearly 807,7500 as of December 31, 2022. The majority of these students are from India, China, Philippines, France and Nigeria. 


Have you considered renting to international students? 

If so, here is some information that will help you prepare to be a landlord and make extra income this semester. 

Like any renter, students are looking for the best deal. Location, amenities and affordable prices while they are focused on getting their degree. 


Location: The closer you are to a university campus the more attractive your rental becomes. The more amenities that are available such as transportation hubs, grocery stores, restaurants, etc. the better suited your property becomes to students as they can better meet their needs. 

Amenities: Having basic furnishings such as tables, chairs, beds etc. may win you extra points with the students as it helps them get settled quicker.  

If you are renting out a unit, here are some of the appliances that should be available: 




washer and dryer set 


Another thing to keep in mind is whether bills such as electricity, gas, hydro and Wi-Fi will be included in the monthly rent or be charged separately. If you will be hosting a student in one of your rooms known as homestays, another offering that you may look into providing is a meal plan. Having breakfast lunch, and dinner, as an option can gain you an additional $150-$600 depending on the options offered. Most universities offer meal plans for on campus and surrounding areas shops and restaurants, but nothing beats a nice home cooked meal. 

Affordable Prices/Flexible Lease Terms: Being flexible with the lease term may also be a factor with students when deciding on a rental property. Most may only stay in the country during the school period and go back to visit family during the break. Another option is to offer a reduced rental fee for the months that they are away during break. This is a case-by-case situation but if the student has enrolled for 2- or 4-year university term it may benefit both. You, with a long-term steady income and for the student, a secure place to live during their studies. 

You may choose to charge by the week, the month or the semester. Going back to our previous points, the closer you are to the school and other amenities the higher the pricing for your room or unit can be.

Safety and Security: Another thing to keep in mind is security. For many, if not most of these students it will be the first time traveling outside of their home so the first thing on their minds and that of their families is their safety. 

Some of the security features you might want to implement are deadbolt locks and smart doorbells. You might also consider cameras and adequate lighting at the entrance and parking lot. You do not need to break the bank, but it all depends on your area and the crime rate. Just something to take into consideration that may help make your future tenants a little safer. 


Now that you have the perfect place to start renting for students, how do you screen them? 

As many of these students may be arriving in Canada for the first time. It may be difficult to gather the necessary information such as Canadian-based work experience, credit history, and other background details. So, this information may come from overseas. 

Proper documentation: Verify that the student has all the necessary documents to enter, attend school and work in Canada. International students who wish to attend a college or university must obtain a study permit from the Government of Canada. The organization that issues them is the IRCC. 

Credit history and income: As previously mentioned, for many students this will be their first-time stepping foot in Canada, so they would not have a bank account or credit history. So, a little bit of extra digging may be required. 

Bank statement: One of the first things people do when they first set foot in a new country is open a bank account. Scanning several months’ worth of bank statements will give you a glimpse into their spending habits and the amount of income they have or receive regularly. 

Monthly bills: Examining a student’s utility or phone bill statement will allow you to see how consistent they are with on-time payments. 

Pay stubs: Suppose an international student has a work permit and has recently secured a job. In that case, you can ask for proof of employment income. 

Some students may have already spent some time in the country so this would help to obtain these references. Another thing to check is if they have rented before, contacting their prior landlord. You may gain valuable insight on whether you should rent to the student. 



Renting your room, suite or condo/apartment to an international student is a good way to earn extra income. Especially if you live close to one of the many schools in the area. Although there are a few hurdles to go through in the process of qualifying the right tenant, it is a well worth process to turn that empty room, suite or condo into cash in your pocket.  

The fact that they may lack a credit history should not be a major worry as most are financially backed by their families or have access to scholarships and grants that help them cover their home rent. Many of these students are highly motivated as they may be looking to graduate in fields such as medicine and engineering. Which would help them stay focus on their studies 

Click the Learn More button below to get information about Rental Amount and Where to find International Students.

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Eden Mesganaw

Eden has been a professional real estate sales person for over 30 years and working with the top ranking brokerage, Remax Premier Inc. She writes on related topics such as home improvement ideas, real estate trends, tips for buyers and sellers, and more.

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