What Makes a Good Tenant

You can have the greatest property in the world, with awe-inspiring construction and an incredible vista view in the middle of the hippest neighborhood in town; as a place to rent, it’s worth nothing if your tenants aren’t great. Good tenants are hard to find; there’s a lot of different qualities that make someone a good tenant, and after a string of bad ones you might start to wonder if there’s anyone who respects their own home anymore. Fret not; they exist, and they can be found.

Good tenants pay on time. They have a good credit score, so you know they’re accustomed to paying bills and credit cards promptly. Good advice for tenants and landlords is that no more than 30% of monthly income should go towards rent; a larger percentage will mean that when disaster strikes, there might not be enough of the budget left to go to making your rent payments. It’s wise to ask for a pay stub and investigate your potential tenant’s work history; if the money looks inconsistent, or their work history looks spotty, it could be worth taking a pass.

The best tenants communicate. When a tenant acts shy or nervous during a meeting, or as though they have something to hide, they might not be the best person for your space. When there’s a water leak or any other signs of a problem, you need your tenants to communicate with you immediately, lest the issue develop into something more serious. You’ll also want honest tenants who will communicate their intent: Do they plan on renewing the lease? Have they run into financial difficulties? Are they keeping their place clean? Dishonest answers to these questions can create painful headaches for you down the line, so a good tenant should be good at communication.

Responsibility is a key tenet of a good tenant. This ties into their work history; you want someone who has worked consistently and paid their bills on time, not just because it makes it more likely that they’ll pay rent, but because it makes it more likely that they’ll take care of their space. Conscientious folk are concerned about their social appearance; they see their own space as a reflection of their inner self, and so will keep it clean and tidy. Responsible citizens are also more likely to look after their neighbors, helping the elderly and infirm and respecting common spaces.

It can be difficult to find the perfect tenant, that kind, responsible, communicative, well-paid, high credit score individual who is every landlord’s dream. There are tells for tenant dishonesty, signs that the relationship might not work out that you can pick up early; it’s important to trust your gut, and if a tenant doesn’t feel right, to wait for a better one. Sometimes this game of seeing tenants, feeling them out, rejecting them and finding another can feel like a slog; especially if you’re not getting as many responses as you would like! Commercial property management services can help you find the perfect business tenants, and residential services can help you find renters looking for a home.