Which tenant market should you target?

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If you are looking to become a landlord, what tenant market should you be targeting for your rentals? Should you be looking to rent to students, professionals, exchange students, young families or singles? There are many different categories within the overall rental market and each property appeals to different types of tenants. When you are a prospective landlord you should be clear about the type of tenant that you are looking to attract, so that you can make sure that the property is prepared to its maximum advantage. 
The type of tenants you target will depend on the type of property you have, as well as the local market demand and the location that the home is in. For example, some landlords will fare very well when letting to students and others will do well if they are letting their homes out to tenants who are on housing benefit. 
There are other homes that will rent well to short term renters, students or corporate renters. 
So what factors should you keep in mind when you are considering which tenant market to target? Here are some tips:
Think about which groups will be the hardest work. Some landlords avoid renting to people on housing benefit or students. This is often because students tend not to look after properties very well and housing benefit tenants come with a lot of paperwork and the risk that the tenant might not pay if they are out of work. 
However, there are ways to work around these problems. For example, there are ways to get rent paid directly from the local authorities so that you won’t have any non-payment problems. 
When you rent to families, consider making your “no pets” rule more relaxed, as families are much more likely to have pets and this will limit your number of applicants. 
Keep in mind that when you rent to younger singles, the property will be more likely to be less tidy when you need to do viewings, compared to a family or a couple. 
The further from home your tenants are, the more likely it is that they will have guests coming to stay for long periods of time. This means that your home might be occupied by more than just the tenants sometimes. 
These are just a few of the factors that you should consider when determining who to target within the tenant market. These are generalities of course and you should consider each tenant on an individual basis, as everyone is different. Overall the most important thing is to look for someone who has regular income, is responsible and has good references. Ask their previous landlords if they were clean, respectful and paid their rent in the past. 
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