A good landlord will go to great lengths to find a qualified tenant for their rental property. Qualified tenants are those that have a proven track record of financial responsibility and rule-abiding behavior, indicating their ability to pay rent and not damage the property.
But a great landlord will hope for more than just a good credit score and clean criminal background in their tenants. Although difficult to screen for, there are certain qualities that can make a renter stand out as the perfect tenant in their landlord’s eyes.
#1 Pay your rent.
Better yet, pay rent on time! The landlord-tenant relationship revolves around regular rent payments in exchange for a place to live, and making on-time rent payments is one of the most important jobs for which a tenant is responsible. Most likely, your landlord depends on the rent to make the mortgage payment on the rental property so paying rent late can be a financial burden for your landlord. Your landlord’s property management software should let you schedule regular rent payments online directly from your checking account or with a credit card so your rent is always paid on time.
#2 Treat the property like your own.
Taking pride in ownership of your rental property by taking care of it will not only ensure the return of your security deposit but also builds for a great landlord recommendation should you decide to move in the future. Normal wear and tear is expected, but preventing tenant caused property damage is ideal.
#3 Communicate maintenance issues.
Even a small leak can turn into a big expensive problem for a landlord. A dream tenant will notify their landlord when they notice any maintenance issue that requires attention. Landlords can provide easy options for tenants to submit maintenance requests online, which can easily be tracked and monitored until the issue is resolved.
#4 Don’t be high maintenance.
While a landlord values great communication from their tenant, a renter who constantly complains or requires special attention is a pain. In most cases, you will not be your landlord’s only tenant and only priority. Try to resolve problems on your own, as long as they follow lease terms, before bothering your landlord.
#5 Don’t let someone live with you who isn’t on the lease.
The lease agreement is designed to protect both the landlord and the tenants. It needs to be signed by anyone over 18 living in the rental property. A good tenant will not sneak in secret roommates and should notify their landlord if they plan on hosting any long-term guests.
#6 Keep the rental clean.
A dream tenant will keep the property sanitary as to not invite pest infestation or cause property damage. If the tenant does not keep a clean home, the landlord may deduct the amount paid for extermination or repairs from the tenant’s security deposit per the lease terms.
#7 Renew the lease.
Managing tenant turnover is expensive and time consuming for a landlord. A dream tenant will want to renew their lease agreement and hopefully live at the same rental property for a long time. In a perfect world they would meet every quality of a perfect tenant making the long term tenancy even more ideal.
#8 Keep up with tenant maintenance.
While the majority of maintenance responsibilities fall on the landlord, tenants may be required to maintain some appliances, manage lawn care, change air filters or replace smoke detector batteries. A great tenant will not only understand and agree to these terms but will actually do it! A tenant’s maintenance responsibilities should be outlined in the rental agreement so they understand their contractual obligation in regards to maintaining the property properly.
#9 Follow lease terms.
A standard lease will prohibit any illegal activity on the property or any behavior that threatens the safety of the community . A good tenant will uphold theses rules as well as other lease terms. Other lease terms that a bad tenant might break typically involve pets or obnoxious parties that disturb other renter’s right to a quiet enjoyment. Beyond failure to pay rent, lease violations like these constitute legitimate grounds for eviction, which is expensive and stressful for all landlords.
#10 Have renters insurance.
Not only will renters insurance help cover the cost of replacing a tenant’s stolen or damaged personal possessions, it can also cover the cost of damage caused to the property by negligence. A great tenant will have renters insurance so the homeowner isn’t left with a bill due a tenant being unable to cover the cost of damaged to the property or court fees. The good news is, renters insurance is extremely affordable and costs less than a few cups of coffee a month.
Plus one bonus one – Be Honest!
The most important quality of a good tenant is honesty. Honesty is so important, it gets its own section beyond the top ten.
If something happens that negatively affects your financial situation and rent becomes unaffordable, a landlord will appreciate honest communication about the issue. While a tenant isn’t required to share all their personal information with their landlord, they are required to pay their rent throughout the lease term. If rent payments suddenly stop showing up, the landlord will have no choice but to move forward with an eviction. If you communicate with your landlord ahead of time, you may be able to break your lease without negatively impacting your rental history or work out an alternative agreement.
If you think we missed anything for what it takes to be a dream tenant, let us know in the comments!