The Ins and Outs of Rent-to-Income Ratio: What Landlords Need to Know

As a landlord, you want to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your property. One way to do this is by calculating the rent-to-income ratio. This formula tells you how much rent you’re charging in relation to the income of your tenants. This blog post will discuss everything landlords need to know about rent-to-income ratio.

What is Rent-to-Income Ratio?

The rent-to-income ratio is a critical factor in determining whether or not a person can afford to rent an apartment. It is the amount of monthly rent that a person would have to pay, divided by their monthly income. However, this number can vary depending on a person’s circumstances. 

For example, someone with a high income may afford a higher rent-to-income ratio, while someone with a low income may need to keep theirs lower to make ends meet. Ultimately, deciding what rent-to-income ratio is best is a personal one.

How to Calculate Rent-to-Income Ratio

Figuring out the ratio is a simple matter of math. First, you’ll need to know two things: monthly income and the monthly cost of the rent. Once you have those numbers, divide the cost of rent by the monthly income. The resulting number is the rent-to-income ratio.

For example, let’s say a renter makes $2000 per month and looks at an apartment that costs $1000 per month. To calculate their ratio, they would divide $1000 by $2000. The resulting number is 0.50, or 50%. This means that their rent would take up 50% of their monthly income.

What is a Good Ratio?

Most experts recommend keeping a good ratio below 0.30. Of course, this number can vary depending on your circumstances, but in general, it’s a good idea to keep the rent-to-income ratio as low as possible. This helps keep finances in order and makes it less likely that a renter will miss a rent payment.

A low rent-to-income ratio will also help a renter stay financially stable. If a renter is spending too much of their income on rent, they’ll have less money for other expenses, leading to financial problems down the road.

Why Is It Important for Landlords?

The rent-to-income ratio is a critical metric that landlords use to assess potential tenants. This ratio compares the monthly rent amount to the tenant’s gross monthly income. A higher ratio indicates that a more significant portion of the tenant’s income will be dedicated to paying rent, making it more difficult for the tenant to cover other essential expenses.

In general, landlords prefer tenants with a lower rent-to-income ratio, indicating that they are less likely to experience financial hardship. However, each landlord has their preferences and criteria for tenants, so it’s important to discuss the rent-to-income ratio early on in the rental process.

Then, you can ensure that both parties are on the same page and avoid any surprises down the road. In addition, using landlord software management tools like those from RentRedi can help you keep track of your tenant’s rent payments and other important financial data.

Benefits and Drawbacks of the Rent-to-Income Ratio

There are both benefits and drawbacks to using the rent-to-income ratio.


On the plus side, and as mentioned earlier, this metric can give you a good idea of how much rent a potential tenant can afford. This information can help set a fair rental price for both parties. Additionally, the rent-to-income ratio can help landlords screen tenants and avoid those who may be more likely to experience financial difficulties.

As a landlord, you want to do everything possible to prevent an eviction since it can be costly and time-consuming. By requiring a lower rent-to-income ratio, you can help reduce the risk of this happening.

Paul Moody, Chief Editor & Founder at ProMoverReviews, says, “The rent-to-income ratio is the most important factor when considering approving a tenant’s application. This metric will give you a good idea of whether the tenant will be able to afford the rent.”


However, there are also some drawbacks to using this ratio. One is that it doesn’t consider a person’s other expenses. For example, a person with a low income may still be able to afford an apartment if they don’t have other debts or financial obligations. Additionally, the rent-to-income ratio doesn’t consider a person’s credit score or history.

This is important because someone with a low credit score may be more likely to default on their rent. Finally, the rent-to-income ratio is just one factor to consider when determining whether or not a person can afford to rent an apartment. Other factors, such as job security and savings, should also be considered.

Final Thoughts

The rent-to-income ratio is a helpful metric for landlords to use when screening potential tenants. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that it’s just one factor to consider. Additionally, there are both benefits and drawbacks to using this ratio.

By taking all of this into account, you can make the best decision for you and your tenant. If you’re a landlord looking to manage all aspects of your rentals better, check out RentRedi, tenant management software that makes it easy to track rent payments, maintenance requests, and more.

Guest Post Bio

Jesse is a professional writer whose aim is to make complex concepts easy to understand. He strives to provide quality content that assists people in everyday life. Get in touch with him on Twitter.