Tips to Finding Great Tenants for Your Rentals
Every landlord has had a run-in with a bad tenant — the kind that stirs up chaos for the rest of the tenants and makes life a living hell for all around him. Not to mention late in meeting the rent payment. No landlord toys with the idea of winding up with such a tenant. Instead, they pray to the gods for the heaven-sent tenants who pay rent on time and are nice to everyone. Sadly, we don’t always get what we wish. Luckily, there are some tips for you as the landlord which can help narrow on great potential tenants for your property:
- Stick to the Law
Before you can turn down any tenant, you have to remember that you are required to give all prospective tenants the same treatment. In other words, treat them equally. This is according to the Federal Fair Housing Act, which protects particular classes of people from discrimination in terms of housing. The law prevents landlords from discriminating based on sex, religion, disability, race or color, familial status, and national origin. Additionally, read up on the particular Fair Housing Rules that apply to your state and ensure you conform such laws.
- Good Credit
As a landlord, you want a tenant who is financially stable. This means that if they can pay bills, chances are they will clear the rent on time and maintain the apartment too. Now, running a credit check is going to set you back, but some landlords require that the applicants pay for this check. With that out of the way, it’s important to note that verifying a tenant’s finances involves two steps:
- Verify their Income
Finding a tenant who has a monthly income that’s three times the monthly rent is a good start. As such, request them to produce pay stubs. You should also confirm with their employer on their employment, their attendance record, monthly earnings, and length of employment.
- Credit Check
For starters, learn if they have had trouble earlier on paying bills on time. Furthermore, establish their income to debt ratio. The tenant may have a monthly income that is three times the rent, but if they have huge debt payments, it may affect their ability to meet the rent on time.
- Criminal Background Check
The criminal information is easy to access as it is public record. You can view it in different courthouses. By carrying out the check, you get to unearth both severe and minor offenses. However, to do this, you will need to have their name and their date of birth. Be wary of the fact that applicants may falsify information if they have a criminal record to ensure that they produce a valid ID which confirms who they claim to be.
- Rental History
Hearing an account from two previous landlords will help you establish whether the tenant was a bother. If you can reach these landlords, determine whether the tenant used to pay rent on time, their reason for moving, their apartment maintenance levels, whether they were respectful to the neighbors and if they gave a 30 days’ notice before moving. Of course the tenant may be a first time renter. In this case, have a co-signer sign the lease.
Of course, this isn’t a foolproof way to establish the best tenants. Some bad tenants might seep through the process. However, these tips will help at least safeguard you in most cases. If you are looking to have your property managed, look no further. At lapmg, we offer property management services and leave you to other pursuits. Check us out here.