A hot topic among rental property owners in southern Maryland is the subject of military tenants. Many people want to have military rental homes, where you would rent only to military tenants. There are pros and cons to having military tenants in your property.
Limiting Your Tenant Pool
Members of the military are usually great tenants. However, they aren’t any better than the other potential tenants. It doesn’t make sense to limit your tenant search only to military tenants. This would cut out 80 percent of the tenant base. Don’t disqualify people just because they aren’t in the military. All of your tenants should go through the same screening process, whether they are in the military or not, and you should select someone who meets your qualifications.
Rent to Military Personnel: Drawbacks
We see a high turnover before leases expire with military tenants. In Maryland and nationwide, if a military tenant is active duty and gets permanent change of station orders or orders to deploy, you must let them out of the lease with 30 days’ notice. Turnover is the biggest expense for rental property owners. So, if your tenants are unable to live in your property for a full year, that’s a risk. When you rent to military personnel, you’ll need to be prepared for turnovers a little earlier.
Dealing with Property Damage
If a military tenant does damage your home, it’s hard to go to collections, even with a strong residential lease. We often hear this myth where property owners believe that if a military tenant is uncooperative, the commander will get involved and straighten the situation out. Commanders never get involved with housing situations. They are commanding hundreds of people, and they’re far too busy to babysit how their employees are behaving in private residences. The military won’t get involved if your property is damaged.
Advertising on House Rental Websites
Even if you’re looking for a military tenant, it doesn’t make sense to list on military sites like AHRN or MilitaryByOwner.com. They charge money to place a listing. The problem with these sites is that you don’t have to be military to post or to view. So, you’re paying for a listing site that doesn’t actually limit the audience to members of the military. You can place your listing anywhere else, and you’ll be just as effective in finding a military tenant or any tenant.
If you have any questions about things to consider when you rent to military personnel, please contact us at Real Property Management Gold. We’d be happy to tell you about our property management services in southern Maryland.