BEING A GOOD HOMEOWNER
Being a landlord and being a University homeowner are completely different things. Housing University students in your property can be either a rewarding exercise or a nightmare. It is a huge responsibility that calls upon a homeowner to summon all his/her human relations and social skills as well. Homeowners have the important responsibility of housing and shaping the future of tomorrow’s corporate and political leaders. This is a daunting task which homeowners would not have imagined before partaking in it. Homeowners act in loco parentis, in the place of the parent. The fact that the age and size of the University student continue to dwindle by each subsequent intake is a clear indication that a lot is expected from those who are tasked with the responsibility to look after students. The homeowner, as a parent would be expected to be upright and of a sound moral character. The homeowner needs to be able to interact professionally with student tenants while keeping a professional social distance between him/her and the student tenant.
SOME USEFUL GUIDELINES ON HOW TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL HOMEOWNER
Be fair and reasonable on rentals.
Keep rent and other utility costs at a reasonable rate and explain to your tenants reasons for any changes in charges.
The best way to eradicate and reduce rental related problems is to clearly state what the student tenants are paying for and informing them whether there would be any supplementary charges during the course of the semester. If supplementary charges are to be levied the homeowner has to state clearly the amounts involved and the rationale behind them
Spell out your expectations.
Regulations help members of a community to predict and anticipate the behavior of others and enhance harmonious co-existence. The home owner has to spell out in explicit terms his needs and expectations to his tenants before they check into the room(s). The student tenant should be given the privilege to make a decision on whether to stay or leave. Once agreed upon, the home owner would therefore not be able to arbitrarily change his/her expectations without consulting his/her tenants.
Inculcating a spirit of caring and good customer care.
Although the purpose of establishing a boarding house is to earn an income, the home owner should always strive to take good care of student tenants. It has been observed that the age of a University student is continuing to dwindle by each year, hence a good home owner should take good care of and guide the students as if they were his/her own children.
Keeping lines of communication open.
A good home owner should keep lines of communication with the students’ guardians, University personnel, the student’s pastor and other significant people in the student tenant’s life. It has been observed that parental involvement in the life of a University student’s life has a very positive impact on the moral development, and academic success of the student. Problem student tenants should be reported to their guardians and ideas from them sought.