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Landlord Tips for Managing First-Time Renters and Students

Even if you’ve been managing a rental property for years, you’ll feel some pressure when it comes to dealing with these two types of tenants: students and first-time renters. These people can be inexperienced in terms of fulfilling their responsibilities. Some of them are yet to reach their full earning potential or have come to live in your city for the very first time.

New renters and students are no different from your long-term renters in a way that they need to be treated equally, and with respect. And to make your life easier in handling these tenants, here are some tips for you:

Use parents as co-signers.

While it’s not nice for parents to constantly interfere during the tenancy period, don’t cut them out of the picture. Invite parents to be co-signers on the rental agreement since college students don’t have any credit history. You can’t expect them to hold part-time jobs as well, which is why a co-signer is important.

Show your tenants “how”.

While not everyone in your rental has the skills of a great renter, surely first-time renters and students can be taught. You’ll be surprised of how fast they can learn. To encourage the kind of behavior you expect, carefully explain or demonstrate the “how” of things. For example, show the kind of light bulbs that should be used for your light fixtures. Demonstrate how certain appliances work so that they don’t panic one day, thinking that something malfunctioned.

Don’t place unrealistic expectations.

Landlords can be unreasonable at times and are unaware of it. When you’re renting out to students, consider including the option to rent for at least 3 months or 6 months. Requiring that tenants stay for at least a year isn’t realistic as some students may move out in a few months’ time. When it comes to rental property maintenance, don’t make them do heavy tasks like mowing the lawn or snow shoveling.

Encourage the best ones to stay.

Noticed a few good renters? Keep them from leaving! Or at the very least, give them reasons to refer you to their friends and relatives. Not only does this lower your turnover, but it also boosts the profitability of your rental business. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Allow them to sublet during the summer (especially that they’re not around).
  • Stay on top of maintenance. If something needs to be repaired, attend to it immediately.
  • Don’t be the first to break the rules! Be a good example.
  • Use upgrades strategically, depending on your kind of renters (for example, millennials).
  • Provide a safe and secure parking.

Share information about local amenities.

Living in a location for the first time can be quite scary and stressful. Simply letting students and first-time tenants know where they can buy food, go for a jog, hang out during the weekend, etc. helps them feel more comfortable. You may not realize that this is a form of good customer service - but yes it is.

If you are looking for more tips on managing tenants, check out these posts:

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