The deadbeat tenant: perhaps the most-feared in the landlord community. This person is the tenant who never pays their rent on time, or at all, and will often leave their landlord with financial and/or physical damages that the landlord will have to take care of. It is often for this reason that landlords will place prospective tenants through a rigorous screening process. It certainly makes sense; you wouldn’t want to have to pay thousands of dollars in damages that were caused by someone else!
Well for those of you who consider yourselves good tenants, you have to let yourselves shine. However, it can often be hard when the process is so rigorous and there may be plenty of other tenants out there who claim to possess the same qualities as you.
The first thing you want to consider is a credit check. Often landlords will conduct a credit check on each of their prospective tenants, especially if they’ve experienced deadbeat tenants in the past. For college students renting on their own, this can be an issue as many students either have bad credit or no credit at all.
In an article we read by Kay Miranda on eHow.com, she explains that you should include a cover letter with your application that honestly explains your credit situation. You will also want to include information in this letter about what would make you a good tenant, and explain that you will be willing to work with the landlord to make sure they are comfortable with the situation. Miranda explains that this could be agreeing to pay via direct deposit, or paying a higher security deposit. You will also want to include any personal references that could vouch for your reliability and responsibility.
Many landlords will also request a face-to-face meeting or interview with you. You want to prepare for this meeting like you would for a job interview. You should be prepared to answer all potential questions they could ask, including those related to your finances and credit history. You should be open and honest with them about this, as it is important to be honest with them and address their concerns. You should be aware that your reactions, your demeanor, and your appearance will all play a role in determining whether the landlord chooses you or not.
As with any interview like this, you should also be upfront regarding your concerns. Be prepared with questions that you may have for the landlord. Their answers to these questions will also help you to gauge their reaction to you, as well as how willing they will be to work with you.
Overall, it is important to develop a good rapport with all of your previous and future landlords. While the most important part of being a good tenant is complying with the terms of your lease, it is also important to keep the premises clean, tidy, and well kept. This is because the way in which you maintain the space and leave it when you move out will prove to your current and any potential landlord (should your previous landlords give you a reference) that you are a good tenant.
Another major part of being a good tenant is keeping open communication with your landlord in regards to any repairs, damages, questions, or concerns that may arise. In another article we read on eHow.com, they suggest also keeping a record of all of your correspondence with your landlord, just in case a problem should arise. It is always important to let your landlord immediately (and in writing) about any problems or maintenance that must be taken care of.
It is relatively simple to make yourself a more attractive tenant in the eyes of potential landlord. All it takes is being open, honest, and demonstrating responsibility and reliability. Just be sure to address concerns they may have regarding your credit history and any other concerns they may have. Keep in mind that fostering good relationships with any landlord you have cannot only provide you with a great reference for any potential landlord, but it will make your renting experience that much better.
Other articles we referenced: