An empty house is better than a bad tenant- says an Irish proverb! Horror stories about landlords having to deal with damage and repairs caused by unruly tenants are everywhere. In fact, they’re deemed to be the biggest reason why people leave the buy-to-let business. Picking the right tenant is the most important step for a landlord. It is also the only solution to avoid expensive and lengthy eviction processes. Conducting thorough background checks, checking references, checking credit worthiness, verifying job stability, etc. should help you to build a picture about the prospective tenant. Here are some tried and tested methods to keep the bad apples out;
a) Check a tenant’s history:
An application form that asks prospective tenants to list out information about their employers, past landlords, immediate family, government identification details, etc. is very helpful. The information provided can be verified and crosschecked. But don’t assume the applicant to be forthright about every detail- they’re more than likely to hide information that can harm their prospects of seeking a home on rent.
b) Background checks:
Professional agencies can search for information not provided in the application form. Details about past criminal records, eviction orders passed against the applicant, other lawsuits involving the prospective tenant, loan information, etc. can be availed through background checks.
c) Check tenant’s credit score:
A better credit score is indicative of a better credit report. FICO scores that range from 660 to 724 are considered good. Credit scores higher than these are considered very good. Applicants with scores less than 660 are considered a risk and may indicate that they may default on payments. But, do not attach too much importance to credit scores as they do not reflect other good tenant qualities.
d) Face to face meetings:
All of the above methods would certainly ensure that your prospective tenant would pay your rent in time and wouldn’t create problems- legal or otherwise. But how do you ensure that he/she would keep your apartment well maintained. This is where face to face meetings come to the rescue. Does the tenant come on time for the interview? Does he bring his/her children along? Are these children well behaved? Answers to questions such as these are vital clues that can help you deduce tenant behavior. Sometimes, even the backseat of a tenant’s car speaks volumes about his/her cleanliness. A clean and uncluttered backseat would naturally indicate that the person would take efforts to keep the rental property clean.
Such checks can be done by the landlord without professional help for a single property. But if there’s more than one property or if ‘landlording’ isn’t your primary business, its best to leave the job to professional property management companies like ours. Our apartment management specialists help landlords to protect their properties and maximize their ROI.
Looking for a good tenant who is trustworthy? Then you must hire an apartment management firm. The author here explains about the cowboy tenants and the choosing process. This will help you to save your hard earned money on unwanted damages and repairs.