No matter how amenity-laden a rental property is or how desirable an area it’s located in, it’s essentially worthless without responsible tenants. It’s no secret that landlords and tenants are often at odds with one another, with neither side feeling as if the other truly appreciates their struggles. However, while you needn’t necessarily seek to be best friends with your tenants, enjoying reasonably friendly relationships with your renters ultimately works to everyone’s advantage. So, the next time you find yourself reviewing rental applications, take care to remember the tenets of a good tenant.
Ability to Pay Rent in a Timely Manner
At the end of the day, the ability to pay rent in a timely manner is arguably the most important tenet of a good tenant. In order for landlords to afford property taxes, upkeep and utilities, tenants need to pay their rent on time. If a tenant is unable to unwilling to do this, it places both themselves and the property owner in an uncomfortable position.
So, when screening prospective tenants, take care to confirm that applicants have enough income to comfortably afford rent. While many landlords limit their options to applicants whose monthly income is at least thrice the cost of rent, there are a couple of circumstances under which it can be safe to bend this rule. For example, if an applicant’s monthly take-home is less than thrice the cost
of rent but they have excellent credit and a proven track record of timeliness, they’re likely a safe choice. Secondly, if an applicant makes less than the aforementioned amount but has significant savings and/or a financially steady cosigner, allowing them to rent from you may prove beneficial.
By extension, a good applicant will also have a decent credit history. While few applicants are liable to have flawless credit, people whose credit history leaves a lot to be desired aren’t always the safest choices. After all, if paying other bills on time has proved problematic for them, why should you assume they’ll be timely with their rent every month? As such, Texas-based property owners looking for tenants for homes for rent in Montgomery, TX should take care to run credit checks on prospective renters.
In addition to requesting that applicants provide references, you’d do well to follow up with these references. Since a fair number of landlords never bother with this step, some applicants won’t hesitate to list fake references. While contacting references may add a little more time to the screening process, this extra effort can help prevent you from making big mistakes. Additionally, when contacting references, take the testimonials of former landlords into careful consideration, as these will give you a good idea of what you can expect from prospective tenants.
Respect for the Property
The last thing any landlord wants is a tenant who treats the property horribly. Not only does poor treatment of the property facilitate a wide assortment of maintenance issues, it can also create the need for serious renovations after negligent tenants move out. This is why it’s important for renters to understand that while they may reside in rental properties, they do not own them – and treating these properties with little to no respect only serves to create problems for landlords.
Willingness to purchase renters insurance is an important tenet of a responsible tenant. Since homeowners insurance can’t be applied to properties that aren’t occupied by the respective owners, renters insurance is essentially a necessity for people who reside in rental properties. The exact details vary from policy to policy, but many renters policies cover three important areas: liability, possessions and additional living expenses. As renters who elect not to invest in a policy often wind up regretting it, make sure to encourage each new tenant to consider the benefits of renters insurance.
In the absence of responsible tenants, you’re liable to have a difficult time profiting from rental properties. Tenants who consistently fail to pay rent on time – or at all – and cause considerable property damage are every landlord’s worst nightmare. That being the case, it behooves you to be extra-vigilant when screening prospective tenants and reviewing renter applications. So, the next time one of your rental properties is in need of a new tenant, remember the tenets discussed above.