Finding renters for rental properties shouldn’t be difficult. But there’s an art to selecting good tenants. Have you ever met tenants willing to do whatever it takes to score your space? What if an applicant is willing to throw in kidneys and a leg for good measure? While offers too good to refuse are difficult to ignore, veteran landlords know better.
If you’re new to the game, then take heed of these tips. Tenants may come in hordes if you sign up for our services. Fend all of them off except for the one tenant who’ll make your life a dream.
Dodging bad tenants is an acquired skill. However, you’ll learn faster if you’re aware of lessons experienced landlords faced. Not only will you weed out the riffraff from your stock, you’ll also have the guts to reject bogus applications from the get-go.
Here are 5 ways to smoke out bad tenants when finding renters for rental properties. Kick the worst out on the curb (or cordially show them the way out)!
Tip # 1: Conduct background checks
Background checks are staples in business transactions, especially if these involve long-term arrangements. It makes sense to assume that someone’s behaviour for the previous five years will be consistent with the next five years. If the applicant turns out sketchy, why would you risk the possibility of nursing a delinquent tenant?
Most landlords stop at national background checks, opting for searches within state or city. This is a big mistake, and it’s not worth the spare change you think you’ll save. You might end up with someone who won’t keep his end of the agreement.
Tip # 2: Ask for contact details of previous landlords
When finding renters for rental properties, former landlords can provide precious insight about a tenant. You don’t want to discover this after the fact, when you’ve rented out the space.
Demand multiple references for more assurance a squeaky-clean feedback isn’t a fluke. Chances are, you’ll always dig up dirt on an applicant; at least you’ll have enough counsel before you decide to commit (or not).
Insider’s tip: disregard feedback from the applicant’s most recent landlord. Property owners can give delinquent tenants good references so they leave immediately, in search of the next space to mooch. Contact tenants’ second or third previous landlords so you have untainted comments.
Tip # 3: Verify Income, Credit Rating when Finding Renters for Rental Properties
Income verification, credit check. This is due diligence, especially for rookie landlords. Applicants might find it difficult to secure these documents. Some employers refuse to release check stubs or payslips by request. Nevertheless, applicants worth considering will back their reputation with hard copies.
Keep in mind income is not the deciding factor in considering tenants. This only indicates an ability to pay rent. On the other hand, a good credit score shows you an applicant is willing to pay the rent in order to maintain an upstanding score.
Tip # 4: Stay shrewd, feel out who’s actually moving into the space
Be wary if an applicant claims exclusive residence (says he’ll shoulder the entire lease), but takes someone to the meeting just for a look-see. It’s likely the tag-along will share the space with your applicant, but is currently undercover to help scout the territory. Stay sharp when your spider-sense tingles when finding renters for rental properties!
If the companion stays in the car throughout the visit, this is also a red flag. This doesn’t necessarily mean the applicant will be a bad tenant, but there are more than enough precedents like these to prove otherwise.
Tip # 5: Say NO with conviction
You’ll hear pity stories, receive offers too good to be true. You’ll be tempted to receive a tenant just to break a long-drawn vacancy. Impulsive decisions when finding renters for rental properties usually end up as mistakes. It’s more difficult to get rid of a bad tenant than it is to wait for someone worthwhile.
Do not take a tenant’s word as good as documented proof. Do not stop finding renters for rental properties until your prospect pays the deposit and the first month’s rent. Make sure the contracts have been signed before assuming you’ve landed a good tenant. Keep processing applications until someone actually moves in. Landlords know better than to secure deals with a spit-ball handshake.
When finding renters for rental properties, don’t profile a bad tenant by appearances alone. Someone so neat tidy on the outside can eventually be the source of your recurring heartaches (or ulcers).
You have the last say on who stays in your property. Do your due diligence and don’t rent to anyone who intends to freeload and couch-surf. That’s what high school friends are for.
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Like these tips? Check out our other blog posts for private landlords:
- Rent my house: Find out what to include in your lease agreement
- An awesome free tool to help you avoid landlord-tenant conflicts
- 5 mistakes private landlords should avoid
- 5 advantages of letting unfurnished property
- How to write amazing real estate description and find a tenant or buyer fast