Last night I got a written notice in the mail informing me that my tenant of 2.5 years is moving back East! Can you believe it? How could he leave paradise to move back home to the sweltering heat of New Jersey? I will never know. Anyway, I’m really sad to see him go because he was as close to the ideal tenant as possible.
Ned paid on time, was quiet, held no raging parties, and never bothered me to come fix anything. OK, so there were several times when he needed an extra week or two to pay rent, but in the end he always delivered.
As a landlord for many years, here are the basics of what I’m looking for in a tenant:
* Great credit (680 or higher, and the higher the better).
* Not a psycho killer. You know the ones with crazy eyes when you talk to them.
* Has a stable source of income, which could include interest income if s/he has no job.
* Has enough money in the bank to cover at least 18 months of rent if they lose their job.
* Good prior landlord references
* Longer than 1 year duration at his or her job. Longer the better.
* A pleasant demeanor i.e. not an axe murderer.
If a candidate possesses all of the above attributes, I’m more than likely to rent my apartment to them. It’s really not worth taking a risk on a poor tenant and end up missing out on months of rental income due to non payment, or litigation! The real question I have is whether it’s better to rent to males or females and whether it matters at all? Let’s discuss.
WHO MAKES BETTER TENANTS: MALES vs. FEMALES
As a landlord, all you want is : 1) On time payment, 2) zero complaints, and 3) minimum wear and tear. In other words, if I could rent to a robot who doesn’t have to move and always sends me a check electronically on time, that would be the best!
1) DEPENDABILITY: It’s pretty much a wash between men and women. Men are just as flaky as women and women are just as dependable as men, sometimes. Actually, if I exam all the females I know, they are all pretty damn dependable, whereas some of the guys just tend to be complete flakazoids who are never on time. OK, women are favored here 60/40.
2) COMPLAINTS: Men pride themselves on being able to unclog the toilet, change light bulbs, fix holes in walls, and pain(t). Women, not so much. I’ve heard of stories where women will call their landlord to squash a spider. Come on now, a spider is like 1/1,000,000 the size of you! Men get the nod 70/30.
3) WEAR AND TEAR: This is a tough one. Men tend to enjoy throwing parties with lots of loud music and fountains of alcohol. Keg parties, strip parties, bachelor parties, birthday parties, shaking hands with Hilary Clinton parties you name it! Women don’t throw ragers as often as men for some reason. Furthermore, it is the unmarried woman who tends to sleep over at the boyfriend’s house more often than vice versa. Hence, there is less wear and tear if you rent to a woman and therefore women are 70/30 favorites.
Based on my three variables, I’m having trouble deciding which is the safer sex to rent to. Women just seem so much more respectable and less violent. How many serial killers do you know are women? In the movie “Pacific Heights”, Michael Keaton was a man and not a woman.
My gut tells me women are better, but the funny thing is my last tenant of 2.5 years was a man, and he was great! If you don’t mind sharing your thoughts on who you’d prefer to have as a renter, I’d much appreciate it!
* Please note that it is illegal to discriminate against a potential tenant based on sex, race, or creed. However, it is legal to ask a question and wonder out loud.
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For Tenants: Take a moment to check your free credit score through GoFreeCredit.com, a company I trust. If you are in a hot rental market, or really want a particular rental, you should have your credit score as part of your application for your landlord. I am a multi-property landlord and highly value a credit score and report. Those who come to me with their credit score stand out above others who don’t. If you do not want to pay for the credit monitoring, simply cancel within the grace period.