Some people shy away from becoming landlords because they fear the worst. They’ve heard horror stories of terrible tenants who destroy property, don’t pay rent on time, and slip away in the middle of the night, not honoring the rules of the rental agreement.
What those people fail to realize is that finding the best tenants has much more to do with them than with the tenants themselves. Sure, there could always be a bad luck scenario, or a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but for the most part a landlord has three key ways of ensuring they only attract and select the kind of tenant that will honor the rental agreement and the property itself. Those three things are:
- Have the best product. If the rental property a landlord is trying to market is in disrepair, if it hasn’t been painted in years, if the plumbing is terrible, if any number of maintenance issues haven’t been addressed, then that landlord should not expect high-quality tenants to be interested in renting it.
- Have the best price. If your rental property is underpriced, you run the risk of attracting underqualified tenants. If your rental property is overpriced, you run the risk of attracting a very limited number of tenants and might become desperate to approve the first person who shows interest, regardless of their ability to meet the monthly rental payment.
- Screen your tenants. Tenant screening is a critical third step toward insulating yourself from the danger of approving unqualified tenants to rent your property. Every applicant you’re seriously considering should undergo a background check, credit check, and employment verification.
If you ever find yourself on the unlucky end of a bad tenant situation, reflect on these three points and see if there’s any way you could have avoided such a headache.