Here we go again, your property is vacant and you need to find new tenants. We all know very well that not all tenants are created equal, certain tenants will make your life easy as a landlord and others move in and bring along drama. Choosing the right tenants makes your business more successful and protects your investment.
Here are 5 tips to help you choose the right tenants.
1. Set the criteria
Before you search to fill the vacant property, it’s important to set the right criteria, to have a better view on prospect tenants. In order to make the screening process effective, consider the below points:
- Makes enough income to afford your rent
- Employed in a stable job
- History of rent payment, specifically on-time
- Characteristics; friendly, kind, co-operative
- Criminal record
- Lifestyle; smoker, drinker, partyer
- Marital status
- Owns pets
2. Create an online rental listing with all expectations
As you create your rental listing profile, you should write a paragraph describing your property including a description of what you expect from your tenants and the process taken if they are interested in renting. Be very clear on your requirements; a detailed application, authorization for a credit report, background check and references. Even if this may seem prolonged, trust us, it’s better to have a detailed application that works, rather than a vague one that can result in miscommunication.
3. Background and reference check
Now it’s time to verify their submissions, references are vital for any landlord, this can determine a lot and save time avoided in meeting unsuitable tenants. Plus, you would be comfortable knowing all references are positive. A simple phone call to an employer or other referee will be enough. Perform a criminal background and credit check, to avoid future issues. We suggest focusing on these aspects:
- Check if they have a history of paying their bills on time
- Check their income vs. debt ratio
- Look for prior evictions, civil judgments against or bankruptcies
4. Consider the tenant’s rental history
No-one can help you decide better than the tenants previous landlord, try speaking to at least two of their previous landlords, just to confirm all information given is unbiased. We suggest the below questions to ask:
- Did they pay their rent on time?
- Why are they moving?
- How did they maintain the apartment? Any damages? Were they clean?
- How did they treat their neighbours?
- Did they give the legal notice prior to moving?
- Were they easy to communicate with?
5. Meet them
This is a must, you can’t make a decision about a prospective tenant without actually meeting them. If you remotely manage the property, try to make sure that a trusted person meets them on your behalf or hire an agent for a fee
Pay attention to whether tenants show up on time, if they’re friendly, and if they meet your requirements. Here you must go with your gut, if you don’t feel you were comfortable or clicked with the tenant, then don’t rent them, on the other hand, if you feel they are the right tenants for you, sign the lease!.