Studying up on college-town real estate

Investors offer tips on off-campus rental housing

Brad Hastings is a landlord whose tenants are expected to follow certain rules: No candles. No American flags hung as curtains in the windows. And for heaven’s sake, he doesn’t want to find 50 beer cans on the lawn on Sunday mornings.

Hastings’ 400 tenants are college students in two small, Southern towns. And he says business is good — different, sometimes, from the typical landlord experience — but nonetheless good.

He and business partner Matt King decided five years ago to specialize in developing campus housing. They jumped from their former telecommunications careers into a growing real estate niche that seems to be fed by a rich demographic and economic diet.