How to Find Good Tenants
Selecting tenants for your investment property can’t be an arbitrary or emotional decision. Instead, it should be based on a standardized screening method that allows you to make an objective decision. At Coakley Realty, we’ve been helping out clients find reliable tenants for their properties for decades, and we have some tips for you on how to find them!
Our Tips for How to Find Good Tenants
Hire a Qualified Property Manager
Choosing good tenants is more important than deciding on the location, purchase price, and even rent amount for your investment property. Are you willing to make all those important decisions alone? With a qualified property manager, you can leave this difficult process in the hands of an experienced company that has helped screen qualified tenants for thousands of investment property owners just like you.
Establish a Set of Written Criteria
Don’t even consider an applicant unless they meet baseline criteria. For example, a tenant’s income must be three times the rent, they must have a credit score of 600 or more, and they must never have been evicted by a prior landlord.
Determine your own criteria; just make sure they are within the bounds of local, state, and federal law. Remember, your criteria may require you to get proof of employment, run a credit check, or contact previous landlords. The experts at Coakley Realty can help you determine the best criteria for your investment property.
Require a Formal Application Process
Ask for a variety of important information to learn the basics about the prospective tenant. This includes name, age, current address, SSN, number of people planning to move in, current and previous two landlords, current and previous two employers, vehicle information, and more. Having this information on file is critical for a successful investment property owner. Your property manager at Coakley Realty will keep all this information safely on hand for review and verification.
Charge an Application Fee
You only want serious individuals to apply. An application fee weeds out those who aren’t serious about paying rent every month. Charge a reasonable amount and make it clear to the prospective tenants that the fee is nonrefundable if their applications aren’t approved.
Show the Property
This is as much for your benefit as it is for the prospective renters. When the party arrives for the walk through, pay attention to their appearance and behavior.
Are they clean and presentable, clearly attempting to make a good impression? Are they polite? Do they wipe their feet before entering the rental property? Do they have legitimate concerns about the property or do they criticize just to make a point of negotiating the price? You can learn a lot about people just by carefully observing their behavior.
Our professional property managers have performed hundreds of walkthroughs with potential tenants, and we can help you not only get a read on the prospective tenants but also show your property effectively.
Have a Formal Meeting to Sign the Lease
You’d be surprised how many people sign a lease without reading it. Sit down with your new tenant and go through the lease page by page to make sure both parties understand what they are agreeing to.
This is your last chance to screen tenants. If they argue about anything on the lease—late fees, pet or smoking policies, noise regulations, etc.—this is the time to either debate the issue or apologize and send the argumentative applicant on their way.
Don’t leave your tenant screening process to chance. Contact Coakley Realty and team up with one of the most experienced property managers in the DC area.