We are often asked what makes a good tenant and our answer is always the same. “The perfect tenant is someone who is clean and tidy, will treat your property with respect, always pays rent on time and adheres fully to the lease”.
While you may know the type of tenant you want it can be difficult, even in the current rental market where demand far out strips supply, to identify a suitable tenant.
To make the process a little bit easier we have listed some of the key points to consider when identifying your perfect tenant in the screening process.
Do not base your decision to let a property to a tenant purely on the references they have supplied. While references are essential they should only play a part in the tenant profiling process. With the tenants permission contact the referees to validate the references. If a tenant has had a couple of landlords over the years ask for the contact details of one of their earlier landlords and make contact with them.
Make sure to insist on a copy of the tenants identification as you need to know who you are dealing with and also carry out searches of the tenant on the internet to help you build a better picture of the tenant. It is surprising what you can find!
Match the Tenant & Property
Tenants fall into a number of catergories, students, couples, families, singles and professionals. If its a one bedroom apartment on the third floor of a complex it is not going to be suitable for a family with two children. A property that’s overloaded with occupants will result in excessive wear and tear, costing you more money in the long run. Hold out for your preferred tenant even if it means taking a few days longer to let.
Previous Rental History
How many properties has the tenant rented? Why are they leaving their current property and how long have they lived there? Get dates and make sure there are no gaps. If their previous rental history has been vague then there may have been issues in the past.
Can the Tenant Afford the Rent?
Ask the tenant for their income details. Is there a difference in current rent and new rent? If the rental difference is substantial and if the tenant’s income is on the low side, how will they afford to pay rent and bills?
Trust yourself and go with your instinct. If you have a bad feeling it’s best to act on it now instead of having regrets in six months time. Never chase a tenant for paper work at the screening process. Serious tenants come prepared with it or have it to hand. If you have to chase for paper work now you will end up chasing late rent in the future.
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