By Jennifer Chan
How great would it be if tenants came to you pre-screened, so you only had to pick from a pool of the best renters? Unfortunately, you need to do the dirty work yourself, but there are ways to make the job easier. By letting renters know your requirements before they even contact you, you’ll help to naturally narrow your pool of renters, leaving you only the most qualified. While this strategy isn’t fool-proof, it will raise red flags to renters who don’t reach your qualifications so they won’t waste their time working with you. Require the following items from renters early on to help you single out the best tenants:
Charge an application fee. Renters who aren’t serious about your unit won’t reach into their wallets to pay an application fee. Make sure your listings provides clear pictures or you schedule a showing beforehand so tenants know what they’re applying for. This will help you weed out renters who aren’t serious, or disqualify renters who give you a bounced check.
Check references. By letting renters know that you check their records, you’ll attract interested applicants with clean records and quality references. Renters who have an unsavory criminal or employment background will search for rentals units that don’t require such a thorough background check.
Pull credit reports. Notifying renters that you’ll pull their credit report upon application will help you turn away renters with bad financial history. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t rent to those with bad credit, but if it’s a major concern for you and you want to safeguard against riskier tenants, it’s perfectly acceptable to select the tenants with the best credit scores.
Talk to their previous landlord. A current landlord may say good things about a bad tenant just to get them out of there. The landlord before that will be much more honest with you. Request this information from the applicant as part of your background check.
Be clear about the terms. Let the potential applicant know about the details in the lease, your fee structure, any extra amenity fees, and the late fees for rent when you speak with them. Tell renters what is expected of them before they apply so they know if your property is within their budget.
Source : rentjuice