Renting to retired single person

4 Replies

I met a wonderful potential tenant who filled out the application with good credit and passed the cozy background check.

However, her monthly income she receives is from social security and her assets are a small IRA and low assets in her bank account (especially after paying 1st, last and deposit).

I know that the suggested rental ratio is 3x gross income, where she is receiving about 2x income, but I am wondering if anyone else has faced this problem trying to qualify to a retired person on social security.


I have not experienced this. If it was me I would want to see that they are debt free. If the tenant only has double the rent in income and then has a car payment, credit cards, etc I would be concerned that if the tenant has any kind of minor crisis the tenant would not be able to afford the rent.

However, if the tenant does not have debts the. I would be less concerned about being able to afford the rent since he or she must be living a minimal lifestyle within their means.

I deal all the time with retirees/senior citizens. The nice thing is that they live frugally and rarely over extend themselves. Once you check their debt load you will have a full picture. They should have little to no debt. If they do I would probably pass.

If she seems solid accept her but put her on M2M to initially protect yourself. During screening interviews make it crystal clear that as a professional landlord you do not tolerate late payments for any reasons. If it is a choice between medicine or rent they need to understand that rent is more important than their health. Make sure you get a LMR deposit in the event they die.

Treat them like any other tenant, no special treatments or exceptions.

Make sure you have an emergency contact as sooner or later you will need it and check it annually. Seniors tend not to move and they don't wreck your property with wild parties, as a rule. 

Thanks for the replies. Still waiting on some asset verification but looks like she doesn't have the means to get past year two if she rents my property. I think I might recommend her to rent from one of the 55+ communities nearbye that would be more cost effective and have lower verification requirements.

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