Lockdown #2 update: You can still let/rent a home, buy/sell your home, and move home during the lockdown in England starting on Tuesday 5 January 2021 (unlike the first lockdown in March 2020). But you must follow Covid safety guidance.
The Best And Worst Types Of Tenants
The thing about finding good tenants is that it’s all about odds.
Granted, that means we have to be one presumptuous son-of-a-bitch and actually play the game of odds. For example, the odds of getting trouble from an employed professional worker compared to an unemployed-bum is extremely slim. Of course, that won’t always be the case, but intuition and common sense suggests that it will likely be the outcome.
Nope, that’s not going to go down well with many people. But what can we do?
In some cases, it may even be worth keeping a property vacant longer than planned, just to get the shoes filled with the idealistic tenants (if there is such a thing). Often, landlords make the fatal mistake of failing to screen their tenants rigorously, voiding due diligence, because they want their property filled as quickly as possible, which often means accepting the first applicant that shows interest, which obviously isn’t always the best choice!
There’s nothing completely wrong with that (although, there is a lot wrong with it), it can end up well, but if that’s the case, there needs to be a certain gratitude towards good fortune, because the odds of that happening are stacked against all landlords.
Right, so I’ve put together a list of common tenancy statuses, ordered by desirability (red hot being the most desirable). I haven’t covered all possible scenarios because the list could be potentially endless, but I think I’ve covered quite a bit of ground.
Please note, I’m basing this list on personal experience, generalisations and errmmm… common sense *cough* As I’ve mentioned several times, it’s all about odds. Let me know how it compares to your list…
|This is by far the most desirable tenancy status. Established couples (together for at least 5yrs) are more durable than newly established couples. Both are employed meaning two avenues of income. I’m always aiming to grab me a bag full of tenants in this situation.|
Employed/Good Pension/Good Benefits,
|I hate to be ageist, but unfortunately it’s the way of the world. An elderly individual is typically tame and accommodating- they just want a simple life. I currently have 2 tenants that come under this status- I’ve never had a problem!|
One working professional
|For the reason mentioned already- established couples are durable. Stability is highly desirable as it signifies responsibility and commitment. It’s not ideal that only one person out of the two is employed, but it isn’t the end of the world. And with one being a professional worker, there’s little chance of any financial breakdown.|
employed as professional
|“Employed professional” employment status is key, because you know they carry some sense of intelligence and earn enough to pay the bills. So why does “single and employed” rank lower than “couple and one employed”? Simple, the professional, single worker has less of a commitment, so may find it easier to walk away.|
|New couples are always looking to take things to the next stage in their relationship, and what better way to show commitment than living under the same roof? Obviously, it’s a good thing that they’re both employed. But newly formed couples have a high separation rate. I hate to admit it, but even a few of my friends have broken up with their partners and caused problems for landlords.|
|Now we’re really starting to creep into the danger zone. Anyone thinking about taking on this kind of tenancy status likes to live on the edge. As mentioned, newly formed couples have a high break up rate. And with only one being employed, it’s easy for them to fall into financial crisis.|
|With an average labouring job and no sense of commitment, it’s extremely easy for a tenant to go AWOL.|
Reliant on social benefits (DSS)
|I personally wouldn’t go this low down the chain, because I’ve been there and it’s been nothing but trouble. DSS tenants are not worth the hassle. And let me clarify, it has nothing to do with the individuals on benefits themselves, it’s more to the point how badly the government handles DSS tenants for landlords. For further details on why I think DSS tenants suck, go here DSS Tenants And The Council.|
|Student(s)||In popular student cities landlords are making a killing with letting property to students but they come with their fair share of stress. Most students go to University for one reason, and it sure as hell ain’t to learn. The odds of finding respectable students that will pay the bills on time and look after your property aren’t great. Secondly, with students, the landlord is usually required to actually make regular inspections just to make sure the walls are still standing. Thirdly, students typically change accommodation on an annual basis, meaning they’re short-term solutions.|
|No benefits, no job, and no hope. Forget about it.|
Disclaimer: I'm just a landlord blogger; I'm 100% not qualified to give legal or financial advice. I'm a doofus. Any information I share is my unqualified opinion, and should never be construed as professional legal or financial advice. You should definitely get advice from a qualified professional for any legal or financial matters. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.