Real Estate ProfessionalsRenting

Finding the Perfect Tenant: Tips For Landlords and Property Managers

Story Highlights
  • Thoroughly Look at the Tenant's Background
  • Advertise Your Property
  • Verify Rental History and References
  • Know Your Duties to the Tenant
  • Have an Interview In-Person
  • Larger

Having a rental property is often portrayed as a convenient way to get money without having to do a lot of active work.

However, if you end up with the wrong tenant, you can easily encounter nightmare situations where a tenant refuses to pay rent and damages your property.

Taking the time to properly search for tenants can save you a lot of effort and money in the long run.

Follow these tips to get the perfect tenant for your property:

Thoroughly Look at the Tenant’s Background

Simply relying on a couple of references is not enough to find out everything about your tenant.Background checks might be an added expense, but they are definitely worth the cost.

You can find companies that perform tenant screening checks for you, or you can choose to do it yourself.

Generally, you just need to look into the tenant’s credit score, rental history, criminal background, and financial history.

Advertise Your Property

Just going with the first tenant who comes by does not always guarantee you will end up with a great tenant, so you want as many prospective tenants to choose from as possible.

If you want to have plenty of interested people, you need to actually advertise. Make sure your rental property is posted on all the popular rental websites in your area.

You may want to consider paying for targeted ads that will show your properties to those searching in your area and offer a commission to a realtor who can bring you clients.

Verify Rental History and References

Almost anyone applying for a house or apartment is asked for references and past rental history, but a surprisingly high number of landlords do not actually check these.

Never make the mistake of assuming that the tenant is willing to put down references means the references are actually real and positive.

Doing due diligence for each tenant and calling up their references will help you find someone without a past history of problematic behavior.

Make sure to ask detailed questions about the tenant to truly learn whether they would be a good fit.

Know Your Duties to the Tenant

In the digital age, most responsible tenants will look up properties, landlords, and property managers online to see what other people’s experiences have been.

Keep in mind that you need to be appealing too if you want to actually attract the right sort of tenant.

Promptly maintaining the house, providing enough notice before entering the property, and keeping organized with real estate document management software will give you the sort of positive reputation that makes it easy to attract good tenants.

Have an Interview In-Person

One of the best ways to know whether or not a tenant is truly right for you is with an in-person interview.

You can use this time to learn how long the tenant is planning on staying at the property, find out if the tenant has pets, and discover whether the potential tenant is likely to treat your property with the respect it deserves.

Ask for a Larger Deposit

One useful way to protect yourself is to ask for a big security deposit on the property.

A higher deposit ensures that the tenant is in a decent financial state, and it also means you have little extra funds to protect yourself if the tenant breaks the lease or damages the property.

Look into local real estate laws to see how much you can reasonably ask for since some places will have limits in place for how high you can go.

With these tips, you can find tenants who will make renting easy and stress-free. By taking the time to actually learn about your tenants before signing a lease, you are more likely to end up with someone who will be reliable and respectful.

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  1. Hi

    What action can be taken if the tenant owes rent and monies on lights and water after they move out?

    How can I list the tenants as slow payers?


    1. Thanks for stopping by, Ashni!

      Sometimes landlords request a utility deposit upon moving in. Otherwise, your tenant’s initial deposit can be (partially) used to take care of that outstanding amount as well.

      Consulting a service such as TPN would be an advisable option to report these tenants (in)actions.

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