Any landlord who has ever had a bad renter knows the pain and frustration of finding the right ones. But a good tenant causes less stress, less work and gives you a more reliable income. Keeping those good tenants long-term makes your job much easier. You may think the quality of people you rent to is somewhat out of your hands, but you have, in fact, several ways to make sure you are getting the best renters possible.
Set concrete tenant guidelines
If you’ve been a landlord for any length of time, you probably already know what type of person makes a good tenant. Some of those characteristics are usually stable employment, good rental history, a decent credit score, and an income that equals about three times the amount of their monthly rent payment. You may also decide that you don’t want pets or smoking on your property. Once you’ve set your strict guidelines, try not to deviate from them. It’s easy to get a little loose and decide to let an applicant slide because he ticks all the boxes except one. But if you decide on these guidelines, you need a reason why each one is essential. Just make sure that you are basing them on reasons you can legally reject a lease as opposed to discrimination that might be prohibited by federal law.
Use effective advertising
Attracting the right tenants means presenting your property in a way that attracts them and in places they will be. You also have to consider the characteristics your ideal tenants would want. For instance, do your properties have outdoor swimming pools or state-of-the-art fitness facilities? Find out what these tenants want in a property that yours might have and highlight those qualities in your ads. Also, make sure you advertise in high-quality publications and at local venues where these potential tenants hang out. Think country clubs, spas, and possibly banks and department stores. Present your properties in the best light by hiring professional photographers and perhaps a copywriter to make your ad stand out.
Screen your tenants thoroughly
Part of the requirement standards you might set in place such as minimum income and good references is thorough background checks. There are places you can run a tenant background check free and find out things such as credit history, payment habits, and prior judgments or evictions. You will also be able to see how much debt they have and whether they will have enough left over for paying rent.
Once you’ve chosen your ideal tenant, you will still need to discuss any pertinent information with them before they sign a lease. For example, they might need to know that a family with small children lives directly above the apartment they are looking at in case they have noise concerns. Or you might need to let them know if you don’t allow any types of pets. They may already know if your property allows dogs, but make sure they know if you do not allow birds, turtles, exotic pets, or any other type of pet. In other words, make sure that no surprises might make them wish to back out of the lease. If they aren’t happy with the conditions, there’s a possibility they will turn into less-than-ideal tenants.
Attracting and choosing ideal tenants is a process, and one that sometimes takes a little experience. If it’s your first time renting out a property, it might be a good idea to talk to other local landlords to find out their usual practices and guidelines. But if you are communicating openly, running background checks, advertising appropriately, and following laws and ordinances, you are doing the right things to attract the best tenants.