One of the most important decisions to be made when you’ve decided to rent out a home is determining who you should sign a lease with. You have so many options available to you for finding a tenant, but you don’t know what signs to look for that will indicate who the best applicant is once the replies come rolling in. And when you receive a lot of interest, how do you choose one candidate over another? It’s easy to become overwhelmed!
Having a seasoned property manager on your side makes this process so much easier on you. They have the experience and tools necessary to help identify who is going to be a good tenant and help to actively protect your investment. They also have a good “eye” for any red flags.
What a good property manager will ask about and look for in an applicant:
Good credit- Pulling a credit report shows that bills are paid on time and the applicant is financially responsible. Property managers have ready access to reports from the credit bureaus to verify this information and get the complete picture of an individual’s credit score and history.
Good rental history- We cannot stress enough about the importance of contacting previous landlords. Verify that legitimate references have been provided. Ask questions. Why are they moving? Was the property left in good shape when they vacated? Did they have any pets (it’s not unusual for an applicant to avoid mentioning they have a pet if they’re worried that it may put them out of the running or to avoid any pet fee) and were they responsible pet owners? Did the applicant have multiple, if any, HOA violations? Verify that they have a good track record with landlords and neighbors. Most importantly, there must be no evictions on their record. Ever!
Income- Showing that a tenant can supply steady, reliable income is a pretty good indicator that rent will be paid on time and that they can handle future demands on their cash flow. Require that proof of income be supplied with the application.
These tips are just the “tip of the iceberg” when you’re looking for the perfect tenant.