If you are thinking about investing in real estate, have you considered a student rental property?

Student housing can get a bad rap, which is unfortunate because investing in student rentals can be a smart financial move. The Niagara region is home to Brock University and Niagara College, two exceptional academic institutions that attract nearly 30,000 students. When purchasing a student rental property, you can expect low vacancy rates and good growth in your investment. 

Our McGarr Realty team has a wealth of experience in student rentals and works closely with our clients to find student rental properties worth the investment. During this process, we review the key elements to consider when purchasing a student rental investment property, including the 3 Ls: location, luxury and layout. 


Location is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a student rental property. Many students do not have cars and desire a rental within walking distance to campus or close to public transit. Rentals near grocery stores and restaurants are even more appealing to prospective renters.

When searching for potential rental investments, we recommend checking the walk score of each property. The scores are based on the walking distance to amenities. You can use our Walk Score resource, which is available when you view any of our listings.

You should also consider your long-term plans for the rental investment property. Do you want a property geared solely towards students, or one that appeals to a broader range of renters? For example, investing in a property near campus but in a mixed neighbourhood with young families or seniors may give you more options in the types of renters you attract.


The notion of luxury student rentals may seem a little surprising, but times are changing! The types of off-campus student housing are different from what we may remember. From rentals with only the essentials to properties that now have everything from fitness facilities, high-end appliances and central air conditioning - student rentals are more upscale. 

Many international students are willing to pay for high-end student accommodations while pursuing post-secondary education in Canada. Luxury student rentals are proving to be a lucrative niche and worth considering for your investment plans. Our McGarr Realty team can schedule open houses to help you determine whether this type of property aligns with your investment plans.


If you’re thinking about purchasing a rental house, finding a suitable layout is an important factor for getting the best return on your investment. The rental model for student housing is different from typical residential units because students rent by the room. Since the rental costs are higher, students will be looking for adequate space in bedrooms and shared living areas. 

Bedrooms need to be a good size, as most students will want space for a desk in addition to a bed and dresser. Another thing to consider is how many bathrooms are available. A good rule of thumb is to have one bathroom for every two bedrooms.  

When looking at larger homes with five or more bedrooms, you may want to explore options to convert the home into multiple units. Larger homes can be more difficult to rent out but can bring in more revenue if the basement is converted into a separate apartment. If you are considering this, review the municipal requirements for what constitutes a legal basement apartment and ensure you have the necessary permits.

Is owning a student rental property one of your investment goals? If so, our REALTORS® would love to show you potential properties at our many St. Catharines open houses!

Call our office at 905-687-9229 in St. Catharines, or 905-468-9229 in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Or send us a message on our contact page, HERE.

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