Should you lease to a tenant with large student debt even though other signs all point to a good tenant is this week’s question for veteran landlord and property manager Hank Rossi.
Dear Landlord Hank:
Would you turn down a tenant who has a large student debt going back several years even if our rent is only 25% of their monthly income and they have a good credit score? Good job history too.
Hi Landlady Eileen,
Student debt and medical bills are often overlooked when considering a rental candidate.
It’s good to know that credit score is good and the rent to income ratio is not too steep.
The most important question to me is rental history.
- How does this candidate handle his or her rental obligations?
- Does he/she pay on time?
- Did he/she respect and take care of other landlords’ properties?
- Did he/she allow unauthorized occupants or pets?
- Any problems interacting with neighbors?
Many people will realize that if they don’t take care of their rental obligations they won’t have a place to live.
Sometimes, to do that, other bills aren’t paid.
Also, how old is the student debt? Also, has the debt been forgiven or is it still in collection?
If this candidate looks good in all other respects, especially rental history, I would probably rent to him/her.
Other recent Dear Landlord Hank posts you may have missed:
If A Good Tenant Loses A Job How Long Before You Evict Them?
How Do You Raise Rent For A Long-Time Tenant?
How Do You Know When To Change Property Managers?
Where Do You Draw The Line On Normal Wear And Tear?
Dear Landlord Hank: Do You Conduct Rental Inspections? How Often?