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The 4 Most Common Tenant Types in Philadelphia

Four Common Tenant Types in Philadelphia

The more experience you have as a Philadelphia landlord, the more you will realize there are all kinds of different tenants out there.

And, in order to be a successful landlord, it is important that you tune into these different types so you can learn how to recognize red flags early on, how to keep a high-quality tenant for the long-term, and everything in between.

Though you are not an expert in human behavior, and filling your vacant rental property is going to be your main priority, there are plenty of signs to look for during the tenant interviewing, screening, and placement process that can help ensure you place only the very best tenants in your investment property.

Today we are going to look at four of the most common tenant types that make up the rental property business, examine their behavior, and explain why they may or may not be best suited to lease from you.

This way, the next time you run into someone that exhibits a certain type of personality, you will be prepared, and know whether to move forward with the leasing process.


4 Common Tenant Types Trying to Lease Your Philadelphia Rental Property


1. The Hurried Tenant

If a tenant is trying to move into your rental property ASAP, as in, that very same day, take a step and evaluate the situation.

Sure, there are those times when a potential tenant might be in a serious situation, through no fault of their own, and may truly need a same day move-in.

However, there is always the chance that this prospective tenant was just evicted by their previous landlord for non-payment of rent, and hopes that by rushing the tenant screening and placement process you will miss this important fact.

The hurried tenant is going to exhibit an eagerness to turn in their application and related fees, including the sizable security deposit you are surely asking for.

They might even have explanations for not having recent pay stubs on hand, no solid references of any kind, a poor credit score, and more.

The point is, no matter their reason for wanting to move into your Philadelphia rental so quickly, do not let a hurried renter rush you into making a decision.

Follow your strict screening process, or better yet, have your experienced Philadelphia property management team handle it for you, so you don’t miss a tiny detail that could potentially turn into a major problem later on during the lease term.


2. The Overly Confident Tenant

The Overly Confident Tenant in Your Philadelphia Rental Property

We all like to think that we are the best at everything we do.

We are exceptional employees, parents, friends, and yes, even tenants.

However, there is a major difference between being confident, and being overly confident.

If you run into a prospective tenant that wants to do nothing but boast about how great a tenant they will be while leasing from you, we offer one piece of advice – make sure their claims are true.

Overly confident tenants are likely to remind you continuously of the following things during the tenant screening process, in hopes of convincing you they are the best fit for your property:

  • They have a perfect credit score
  • Their income is sky-high
  • Late rent payments are never an issue
  • They always follow the rules
  • Everyone loves them
  • They never complain about maintenance or repair issues
  • Loud parties will never be an issue
  • Their children are angels and never break a thing

Sound familiar?

Surely, you have come across a potential tenant that likes to boast about how great they are, any chance they get.

And, while this may be true, it is important you do your due diligence, and research their claims.

After all, credit scores, criminal backgrounds, and previous rental history will speak for themselves.

In addition, despite what a tenant may say to you about not throwing loud parties, not having a pet, or having children that never cause any problems (so renter’s insurance is never needed), make sure you add these provisions into your lease agreement anyway.

If you are unsure about how to draft a legally compliant lease agreement that addresses all of your concerns, despite having a “perfect tenant” on your hands, have your Philadelphia property manager help you.

This way, should you decide to approve the overly confident tenant, because they do seem excellent, you and your investment property are still fully protected.


3. The Cautious Tenant

The Cautious Tenant in Your Philadelphia Rental Property

It is wise to be cautious of anyone you do business with, no matter the circumstances.

But you know those tenants that repeatedly remind you of how they have been scammed, or taken advantage of by every single past landlord?

Of course you do.

Those tenants are difficult to deal with.

Especially with so much information swirling around, warning tenants that many landlords are just out to raise rents, violate the Fair Housing Act, overcharge on security deposits, and even infringe on your right to quiet enjoyment of the property they are leasing.

Of course, a successful and reputable property owner, and their respective property management company, will not swindle tenants during any part of the leasing process.

This includes prior to move-in, during occupancy, and after moving out.

Yet, the cautious tenant will remain uncertain, unless you prove otherwise.

However, leasing to the cautious tenant is not a bad thing.

In fact, leasing to a cautious tenant is a great opportunity for you to show them that you and your property manager are the best around Philadelphia, and that they can rely on you to take care of them while leasing your investment property.

Here are some tips for encouraging a cautious tenant to relax a little:

  • Perform secure background checks so your tenant isn’t concerned about identity theft
  • Go through the lease agreement line by line so your tenant understands both parties’ responsibilities
  • Direct your tenant to the Philadelphia rental laws, and ensure them that the fees being charged are valid
  • Provide a thorough contact list of everyone your tenant may need to get in touch with for any questions or concerns
  • Offer a tenant welcome package upon move-in so your tenant feels special

Providing superior customer service to all of your Philadelphia tenants is necessary if you want to make it in the rental property business.

Yet for the cautious tenant, the one who is suspicious about your every motive, exceptional customer service can really make a difference in building a strong, and long-lasting, landlord-tenant relationship.


4. The Young Tenant

The Young Millenial Tenant in Your Philadelphia Rental Property

In the past, we have discussed the impact that millennials have had on the rental property industry nationwide.

And, while the stereotypes still hold strong in many people’s minds, the truth is, leasing your Philadelphia income property to a younger tenant is no more or less risky than leasing to someone who is older and more experienced.

That said, millennials do come with their own set of special conditions when it comes to leasing a rental:

  • Tech-savvy. Millennials shop around on their mobile devices, don’t have a lot of experience using snail mail, and want rental amenities such as strong Wi-Fi to support the multiple devices they have – desktops, tablets, streaming devices, and smartphones.
  • Location is Key. The younger crowds want to know their home is within close proximity to shopping, dining, and entertainment hot spots so they can get out and enjoy their youth. If they go to school, location will also play a role in whether they decide to lease from you.
  • Spotty Pasts. Age is typically a major factor in how much money a millennial is raking in each month, what kind of credit score they are sporting, and even whether they have had any legal mishaps recently.

Leasing to a millennial is a great option, so long as they meet your tenant screening criteria.

It is, however, important to note how different they will be when compared to a middle-aged couple with a few kids and a dog in tow, or the elderly couple looking to lease a low-maintenance rental while they settle into retirement.

But different doesn’t mean bad.


In the end, Philadelphia is a big city with a diverse group of people.

Understanding the different types of people you may come across while seeking a tenant for your rental property is going to make the entire leasing process smoother.

If you own rental property in the Philadelphia region, and need help dealing with the four common tenant types, get in touch with Bay Management Group now.

With experienced property managers that have seen it all, we recognize a problem tenant from the start, understand the concerns many cautious tenants may have, and are in tune with what the younger crowd seeks in a rental property.