Student vs Expat, Comparing The Pros And Cons

As landlords, we always want the best tenants to rent our properties. We do not want to worry about whether our tenants have paid their rent or that they may have caused some damages to your property. Because honestly, these types of tenants usually bring in more headache than peace. But, we have to face the fact that without tenants, landlords won’t be able to make money because your property is not being occupied by renters. Getting any tenant is an easy task, but getting a reliable and loyal tenant is another side of the story. Good tenants will stay loyal to you and will always pay their rent on time and also take care of your property like it is theirs. 

In this article, we are going to walk through the pros and cons of renting your property to students and the pros and cons of renting your property to an expatriates or foreigner. We will also show you how to cater for these two types of tenants. 

Student Rentals

Students in Malaysia are always scouting around for apartments and condos to rent that surround their colleges and universities. This is also partly the reason why large number of properties have developed around these educational institutions especially in the Klang Valley area.

The pros to student rentals:

One of the advantages of renting out to students is that landlords will be able see money coming in quickly. This is because these landlords are able to be relevant to the young students with the stable rent prices. It is more likely that they will do whatever it takes to respect your property. Why is it? Well, if your tenants, which are student, have a deep and clear understanding of the tenancy agreement and understand that they need to pay for damages that they have caused, they will respect your property. This is because students are very careful with where their money goes. This is also true as students will need their deposits back. These deposits may be the biggest amount of money they have seen after their college or university fees. So, they will not risk anything to lose it.

Now, lets look at the cons:

Your student tenants could host loud parties while they are on their stay on your property. If your property is furnished, it could lead to damages of the furniture. Even their guest could be thrashing the place in an unimaginable way. They could also be having payment problems as they might have used the money that was given by their parents on something else rather than paying their part of rent. So, it is very important to have clauses in the tenancy agreement to make sure that these kinds of things do not happen.

Always remember, a student tenancy could go on for five years or more. So, if you have good student tenant that is hassle free and no headache, you are in for a treat and a long one. Though, renting to students can also have its bad side too. If you are willing to put in the work, time, and also the risk, then renting to students may be your way to garner in your wealth.

Expatriate Rentals

With Malaysia eager to become a first world nation with development of infrastructure and facilities of world-class standard, more and more foreigners are coming into the country from various parts of the world. This can include for many reasons, be it for work or just for studies. The huge influx of expatriates might be due to Malaysia’s low cost of living in the eyes of the world.

The question is, is it fair for landlords to let race and nationality affect so many aspects of our lives? Is it fair to discriminate against some prospective tenants just because they come from a certain country? If you think it is difficult to find a decent place to rent as a Malaysian, try being in the shoes of a foreigner. Many foreigners come to Malaysia with a goal in their minds. Looking for a good place to stay is a crucial part in achieving those goals. Unfortunately, a lot of these foreigners have complained that they are being treated differently and rejected due to their nationality.

Let’s go into the pros of renting out to expats or foreigners.

There are expats who work in well known companies and when they are working there, it is highly possible that their employers or the company will be paying for the rent of the expats. What does this mean to landlords? This means that you do not have to worry about your rental income because it is already secured. This also means that damages will likely not be done on your property as they do not want to tarnish their reputation as an employee of the company. Even if they are not working in well known companies, they are likely not cause trouble. Why is this? You must understand when you are in a foreign country, you will not want to get in to any trouble with the law of that country. Similarly, these foreign tenants are already bonded to the tenancy agreement. And if they break it, you can take the necessary action towards them.

Now for the cons:

It could take a lot of paperwork and documents to have a tenant who is an expat. Therefore, it is very important for you , as a landlord, to know and check what type of documents that you need when renting out to expats/foreigners. For expats/foreigners, you will need to acquire the following:

  • A valid passport
  • A valid working permit/student visa
  • Letter of employment of the tenant

There could be other documents so it is important to get to know before renting your property out. Always remember this, even though a local can is able to pay for the deposit, it does not mean they are good paymaster or will take care of your property. It also very important to have a background check to ensure the tenant is of reliable person.


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