There's a new tenant in town & believe you me, it's for the better.
Thanks to one of the worst economy's of all time, the rental market is booming. This is great news for landlords & homeowners alike. As a result, the face of the tenant population has certainly changed, and for the better.
It's been my experience that homeowners tend to turn their noses up at the terms "tenants" and "renters", but the truth is, the tenants I meet daily (and a growing portion of the tenant population) defy these stereotypes over and over again. The market has changed.
Many experienced homeowners have left their homes - either through foreclosure, a short sale, or by simply choosing to exit the real estate market altogether (if they were lucky enough to sell at a price that kept them in the black). Lots of homeowners have been soured by the experience of home ownership over the last several years, and many just don't want to put up with the hassle & vulnerability of an unpredictable market. So, voila! The new face of the tenant population is previous homeowners. Yes landlord, your dreams have come true!
These individuals will certainly treat any property as their own. They may be a little choosy, yes. But, they absolutely can be choosy given the number of rentals on the market these days. They know their statistics are competitive against the rest of the tenant population, and they like what they like. They just have to remember to make a decision quickly (and know exactly which property characteristics they want to be choosy about), as the market is hot and properties rent very quickly.
So, what does this mean for lifetime tenants who have been renting for years with mediocre credit & subpar income? Well, it's time to improve those credit scores and make a case for yourself! Unfortunately, having "strong rental history" won't get you as far as you may think. Unless you rented from an actual property management company, rental references are just someone's opinon. And if you were in fact, a terrible tenant, what Joe Schmo landlord wouldn't lie and say you were great? Credit & income are certainly playing a larger role than rental references in the market these days and landlord's make decisions based on what they see on paper. So, make those payments on time & remedy the collection accounts. It's time to get back on track!
In this market, landlords get to be choosy, too and if you ask me, the shift in the rental market is simply leading to stronger & more positive tenant-landlord relationships. All in favor?