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Identifying the Qualities of a Good Tenant

Updated: Jan 10


A good tenant isn’t just someone who pays their rent on time, but they lower your maintenance expenses, minimize the damage done to the unit, and look after the place as if it was their own. A person’s behavior in the past is often a good indicator of what they’ll do in the future. This is why a good tenant should provide exemplary references from former landlords and employers.


While everyone makes a mistake every now and then, someone with good intentions will make a point to demonstrate their willingness to turn things around. As a landlord, you’re looking for more than just a good credit score and a clean criminal record in tenants.


Here are the essential qualities of a good tenant.


Pays the Rent on Time


This is the most important part of the contract – paying the rent by its due date. Most landlords need this payment to pay it back their mortgage on the rental property. This is why late rental payments could be a huge financial burden for landlords. Moreover, a missed rental payment could lead to late mortgage payments for the landlord, which can create a host of lingering problems.


Responsible and Diligent


The tenant looks after the property as if it were their own – this means they’ll mow the grass, clean the house, and take care of its day-to-day issues in a responsible manner. The tenant goes out of their way to avoid damaging the property and tend to repairs if they were responsible for the damage. They will also alert you to any maintenance issues that require repairs, such as problems with the HVAC and heater.


History of Punctuality


The tenant has a history of making payments on time. You can check their credit score to see details about their punctuality regarding their financial obligations. In particular, you should pay attention to problems such as consistent late payments and judgments on missed rent. That should be a red flag that the person may not be the right candidate for your property.


Respectful Behavior


A good relationship between the tenant and landlord is based on respect. You can test the behavior of prospective tenants when interviewing them. If they show respect towards you, they will be more likely to pay the rent as per their agreement. A disrespectful tenant is more likely to create problems for you and may also cause a disturbance in the area.


Prompt Communication


The tenant answers your phone and returns your calls right away. If they are unavailable to answer your queries, they will leave a notification. If you have to wait for several weeks to get their response, they probably don’t value this arrangement enough. It is important to have a responsive renter who is willing to work with you from day one.


Plans to Stay for Long Term


The primary goal of landlords is to have their tenants stay in the unit for as long as possible. It can be hard to predict when tenants will decide to move on. An important change in their circumstances in life is a sign they are about to move on. Students, for example, tend to move on after they graduate. Younger couples relocate based on new jobs and aspirations. A baby can also signal the decision to find more spacious accommodations. In general, older tenants are more committed to living in a rental unit for multiple years.


They Have Questions for You


You’ve done your homework by asking all the right questions, but your prospective tenant also wants to know more about the property…and your own goals. For example, a good tenant will be keen to learn details about your history as a landlord, whether you plan to sell the place any time soon, and a few other details. The more they want to know, the better.


Now that you know how to qualify good tenants, it should be easier to screen candidates early on. Get in touch with us for access to our knowledge base and assistance.

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