It is still early in the academic year; your new student tenants have been in the property for one or two weeks, maybe three at the very most. Hopefully, they have been the model tenants and not given any cause for concern at this early stage. Though students are reliable tenants, you may or may not have come across some of these red flags that could be early signs of a bad student tenant.
Students have a cash flow problem and for some, it is especially worrisome if the student loan’s company hasn’t processed their payment on time. Late payment of rent in the first couple of months of the academic year is not always one of the early signs of a bad student tenant, but if they do not have a good reason for paying late (for example, they simply “haven’t managed to get to the bank”) then this could be a sign of problems to come.
They do have a right to privacy, but as the property owner, you have a right to view the property at an agreed time and place to make sure all is well. You can’t walk in on your tenants unannounced but they cannot persistently refuse you entry either. If they always have an excuse not to let you in, then it could be a sign that something isn’t quite right, and another one of those early signs of a bad student tenant.
Complaining / Demanding
Most students have few expectations with their digs beyond being clean and liveable. They know they are years off from their dream home. They do have a right to accommodation that is liveable, adheres to legislation and for a basic level of accommodation, so make sure you are open to their complaints. There could be issues if they are persistently finding minor things about which to complain that, on reflection, are insignificant.
Complaints by Neighbours
Though it’s not polite to ask neighbours to spy on your student tenants, it is worth checking in with them every so often to see if there have been any major issue. The neighbours will know what to expect from a group of students and can keep you informed how they compare to previous tenants. Early signs of a bad student tenant does not necessarily mean noisy, but if there are persistent complaints from tenants, it could be a red flag.
Damage is inevitable during normal wear and tear by any tenant in any property, it can’t be helped. What can be helped is carelessness. If something major is damaged early on, then this could be one of the early signs of a bad student tenant. Persistent damage of the small things can also be a bad sign and you don’t want to visit the property every month to replace something else. Ensure that all damage is paid for or noted for deduction from the deposit.