Hear what you’re saying.
I do my rentals in areas maybe two notches about section 8, upper blue collar, but not affluent.
With 2BR apts going for $1,200 to $1,400, a tenant expects to pay $1,200 for the first month, plus another $1,200 security. But I asked for 1-1/2 month security, and that’s what separate the men from the boys.
I could understand in areas where NO ONE has an extra half a month, but in area where over a third of the applicants has no problem with the extra half a month, “1-1/2 month is no problem” indicates a strong applicant, vs someone saying “I could only do one month”.
In fact, I got an applicant, a retired couple needing to be near their grandchildren, initially objecting to 1-1/2 month. but agreed to it. We met for lease signing, but they only bought the first month, and one month security, saying “two months ought to be enough”.
We politley declined, and went for the second applicant on the list whom we told was a backup initially, but really liked the place. We keep rents a little below market, and always paint and repair.
We honestly told the second applicant that we didn’t go thru with the other couple because our policy is 1-1/2 month. When he heard this he said “Mr. Chin, I like your place, and I want to pay you TWO MONTHS security”.
I laughed and said “Ron, thanks. I don’t want two months, and folks able to come up with 1-1/2 month is good enough for me”.
You got to learn when to quit when you’re ahead.
To me, its not the issue of getting 1 month, 1-1/2 months, or even 2 months. it’s an issue of how they repond to the request.
I got a SFH where I market at 10% below rent to get the best tenants. For instance, for a market rent of $2,000/month, I charge $1,800. The tenant saves $2,400/year.
The benefit is many lease up immediately giving stories to their landlord to move out. Additionally, they figure, even if the pay me another half month more security, in the long run, they’re ahead.
I’m ahead of the game collecting more security, and renting the place out immediately versus a vacancy of 30 to 60 days.