Owning and managing a rental property can be both demanding and rewarding. In order to succeed as a landlord, you will need to master the process of attracting and choosing good tenants. Carefully choosing a tenant will help to ensure that your rental property is profitable and easy to manage. Many landlords prefer to work with a tenant screening company that can provide a wide variety of information about prospective tenants.
The Importance of selecting the right tenant
In addition to making your life easier, a great tenant will also help protect your investment. Tenants who take good care of their rentals can help to ensure that your property doesn’t decline in value due to damage. Such tenants are also generally easy to get along with and won’t need to contact you frequently with repair requests.
Keep in mind that individuals who have a good credit record and tend to pay their bills on time also tend to pay their rent on time. Picking a fiscally responsible tenant is key to protecting your investment, particularly if you are paying a mortgage on a rental property.
Keep in mind that you must follow all Federal Fair Housing Act rules when choosing a tenant. You can be picky about a tenant’s financial background but cannot discriminate against a potential tenant based on his or her race or color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or familial status. Not discriminating based upon familial status means that you cannot discriminate against families with children.
How to Screen and pick a good tenant
In order to help select the perfect tenant, you will need to run a thorough tenant screening report on your applicant. You can work with an experienced tenant screening company in order to complete this process. Most companies generally return reports about tenants in one to three working days, where as some tenant screening providers like Advantage Tenant allow for instant online results.
During the initial phases of the rental application process, you’ll need to review the applicant’s credit history. Look to see if they pay bills on time. It’s also important to check for any civil judgments stemming from an eviction or any bankruptcies. You will also need to verify that your tenant has regular income. It’s a good idea to check with a tenant’s current and previous employers to see how long they were employed for, if they came to work regularly and how much money they earned on a monthly basis. Verifying that a potential tenant receives regular income is a great way to ensure that your tenant will be able to pay his or her rent.
A tenant’s rental history can also provide you with a wealth of information. Be sure to speak with at least two previous landlords. Current landlords who are having problem with tenants may not be truthful if they are eager for a tenant to move out. Ask about the tenant’s rental payment record. Also ask if they maintained their property nicely, if they gave 30 days notice prior to moving, if they complained frequently or if they had problems with neighbors.
You may also wish to review a potential tenant’s criminal background. Many landlords prefer not to rent to individuals with convictions for violent crimes or drug-related crimes. Be aware that some states, such as California, have strict laws about discrimination based upon previous criminal convictions. Be sure to check your state’s statutes before declining to rent to someone because of a criminal conviction.
Source : moderndignity