Rental properties can make or break your finances (and your mental well-being). If you’re just starting out – or trying to figure out where you went wrong – here are some tips to help you secure that dream tenant. Use your tenant screenings and background checks to confirm that you’ve found the one! You know, the tenant who . . .
- . . . pays on time.
When you do your tenant screening, look for tenants with a credit report that shows on-time payments, no bankruptcies or collections, and a decent credit score. They should be employed, or otherwise have proof of income and a previous landlord as a reference. Be sure to talk to that previous landlord! Ask specifically about the applicant’s payment history.
- . . . takes care of your property.
Your tenant screening process should include a criminal background check. If the applicant has a history of theft or property damage, there will be a history of charges. Also, be sure to talk to their previous landlord! Ask specifically about the condition of your property when they moved out.
- . . . considers the neighbors.
Living spaces that share walls oftentimes share noises and smells and other irritating side effects of daily life. Your dream tenant will be someone who understands that being a good neighbor means being considerate of neighbors. They have a pleasant demeanor and willingness to solve problems without drama. Talk to the previous landlord about noise complaints and look for any criminal charges related to your applicants’ previous living situations.
- . . . respects your pet policies.
Animal lovers tend to be caring people, but some pet owners are so giving of their love and affection to their animals that the care of your property takes a backseat. It could be one rambunctious pet or the adoption of too many pets that result in expensive property damage. You can talk to the applicant’s previous landlord about pets when you do your tenant screening, but it’s best to have an extremely thorough pet policy in place before you sign a rental agreement.
There are, of course, many things that can indicate the potential of a rental applicant to be a good or bad tenant. The four listed above can help you get started looking for the right things. It is imperative, though, to include background checks in your tenant screening protocols. Hiring an experienced company like ClearStar will ensure you’ve covered your bases as a property owner, and that any information gathered about your application will be used according to Fair Housing Laws and other landlord-tenant regulations in your area.