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As the universities begin the age-old process of graduation and migrating the student body off campus, landlords and apartment managers will see the inevitable upswing in applications from students who want to stay in the area, either temporarily for the summer or for a full year-long lease if they’re moving off campus permanently. While approving college students may be good for you financially, especially if you live in a college-friendly area, it’s important to consider a few things before opening the floodgates.

What sort of lease are they looking for? One of the last things you need as a landlord is for your tenants to break their lease early because something else came up, especially if they might leave during a time where it’s difficult to refill the unit, like winter break or the holiday season. Make sure you discuss the length of the lease and offer students an appropriate one. This might be three months, six months, or a year, depending on when they may need to move due to semester change or graduation.

Discourage unwanted behavior with community regulations, and enforce them. If you want to make sure your tenants don’t break their lease, make the consequences for doing so fairly steep. Avoid discord with other neighbors by enforcing quiet hours or notification for gatherings over a set amount of people if necessary. Create firm guidelines about apartment care and cleaning if it’s a concern. Establish grounds for how long guests may stay and what is and isn’t considered squatting.

Review perspective tenants with background screenings and credit checks. While college students often rely on cosigners to establish credit, it’s still important to run these checks to make sure there are no surprises or criminal records involved. If you have an established relationship with the housing offices of the local colleges, it’s also prudent to touch base to learn about any past issues if possible.

Offer services that appeal to the demographic. If college students are a big piece of your tenant puzzle, it may make your units more appealing if you offer community activities and services that draw them in. Mixers, pool parties, clubhouse gatherings, and roommate mediation are a few of the ways you can appeal to the college demographic.

For more help with screening services or guidance on housing college students, please contact us here at Tenant Screening Center. We’re happy to help!

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As always, summer is one of the very busiest times to move. For families, it may be the only time they can manage to easily transition their kids to a new home, especially if they’re switching school districts. That leaves a few high-traffic months to sell their current home, buy a new one, and make the move. It can be a stressful time, and many families choose to rent before buying.

How can landlords and apartment managers help these potential tenants and prepare for the summer rush? Here are a few of our ideas.

Do research and prep before the season starts. Use previous years’ data and current market trends to determine what sort of demand you can expect for your current rentals. Make sure you plan ahead for unit turnover and that any available units are cleaned and prepared for new tenants before the busy season starts.

Highlight your community and amenities. Many people moving over the summer are families with children, and they may need time to adjust to the new area where they’d like to live. Appeal to them by highlighting your local amenities and the community available around your rental property.

Consider what sort of background and screening you’ll need. Dealing with a higher volume of interested renters means you may also be dealing with an increased volume of paperwork. If you need help managing renter background checks and screenings to make sure you’re selecting the best tenants for your property, give your favorite Tenant Screening Center a call.

Make the choice easier. Do you have a number of open units to fill? Make choosing your property easier for potential tenants by offering specials, temporarily discounted rent, community activities, help with the move, or other similar services. You’re not only helping your new tenants settle in easier, you’re also making your property more appealing. Consider the sort of tenants you want and aim for promotions that will interest them specifically.

Offer three-month or month-to-month leases. For people looking for a temporary living solution until they can find a new home to buy, a short-term lease can be very appealing. If you’re looking to fill your units during the summer, think about offering them up as temporary housing.

Help families who are planning a summer move have an easier time of it with these easy prepping tips. You can usually expect an increase in potential rental requests over the summertime as families and others prepare to make a move or are looking to downsize. Make sure you’re prepared!

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I understand the temptation to skip tenant background checks. You’ve got an open unit and you have someone that looks on your application. It can seem like a good idea just get that unit rented as fast as possible and get your occupancy up. It seems like you will save both time and money by pushing forward with getting keys in the tenant’s hands.

What you need to understand however is that you are gambling with both your rental unit and your pocketbook when you do this… and it’s not a good gamble. Statistically, it’s just a matter of time until you loose. It only takes one tenant that will trash your rental unit, stiff you, or force an eviction to wipe out the “savings” from 100 other transactions that you processed successfully without a background check.

According to reports from recent years 59% of all landlords have had to deal with tenants behind on their rent. According to LSL Property Services 99,000 tenants are behind in their rent by at least 2 months. Recent years have also brought a rising number of landlords that are forced to start eviction proceedings.

Next time you think of skipping a tenant background check, remember these stats. The background check is quick and inexpensive and will greatly decrease the chance of ending up with a problem tenant.