How to tell a genuine student from a backpacker

Backpackers love to rent on the private market. It’s far cheaper than staying in hostels or other short-stay accommodation. 

However, they can be risky tenants – often in casual employment, prone to loud holiday partying and liable to leave before a lease is up.

And the unofficial competition to have the “cheapest” holiday can tempt some backpackers to sublet, leading to overcrowding.

Backpackers know – or soon discover – that few property managers will entertain their applications, so sometimes pose as “students” to have a better chance.

RentCover General Manager, Sharon Fox-Slater, said property managers should check the bona fides of all “students” – asking to see their student card, a letter of admission or student visa.

“Another red flag is if they only want a six month lease instead of signing on for a year,” Sharon said.

 “Backpackers might have a healthy bank balance saved up, but ability to pay the rent does not make a good tenant if they are a poor risk in other ways,” she said.