Many landlords, despite how long they’ve been in the real estate rental business face similar issues of choosing the correct tenant. One wrong move can make the difference between a fantastic relationship or having to deal with a damaged property or disputes. Platforms such as HousingAnywhere.com make it convenient for landlords to find student tenants safely and securely. Nevertheless, landlords still receive many requests on their property and here are some useful tips in selecting the correct tenant!
Humans are habitual beings, as much as they say that they will change, it takes perseverance to do so. That’s why references are a vital tool that many landlords need to use to their advantage. Only collecting and storing references is not helpful. If you are going to take references, you need to check them! A simple call to the tenant’s previous landlord or boss will help you better understand the prospective tenant before you accept them into your property. If they’d set the previous landlords house on fire, surely that’s something you’d want to know!
Choose a tenant who is consistent
Consistency is key for any landlord who is looking for a reliable tenant who will not disappear after a few months. The best thing for this is to check the application form. Pay close attention to the employment history and prior address. How often do they change jobs or move around? If you can see a pattern of short-term jobs, then this tenant might not be the right one for you. If they have not shown consistent employment, they may not be able to afford the apartment in three months, and you will be left to start the tenancy search all over again.
Choose a tenant with financial stability
The primary focus is to find a tenant who is financially responsible. If they are responsible for paying other bills on time (phone bills etc.), they will most likely pay their rent on time and be accountable with your apartment. Here is a two-step process of checking:
A) Check their income: Ideally, you will want to find a tenant whose monthly income is at least two/three times the monthly rent. You can get this information by asking for a copy of their pay stubs/payslips
B) Calling their employer directly and confirming their employment and their monthly earnings.
If you are still concerned about your tenant’s ability to pay, consider asking for a credit check. Remember to handle this with care as it can be a sensitive topic for a lot of people. Some tenants will be uneasy about getting a credit check. However, you will need to be discrete about this subject, remembering that a refusal to provide these documents doesn’t necessarily mean that the tenant cannot pay. Also keep in mind that if you’re looking to rent out to students, you can also ask their parents or guarantor for a credit check.
Interview your candidates
Face to face meetings gives you the opportunity to properly speak to the tenant and decide if this is the correct person for you. You can ask as many questions as you need to, remembering not to ask any questions that will violate the fair housing laws.
Some questions you can ask:
‘Do you have any previous convictions?’ or ‘Where do you work? and much more.
During the interview, it is essential to listen to your gut feeling. The tenant’s behavior during the interview and the viewing can tell you a lot. For instance, if they show up late, or they’re rude. These are visible indications that this tenant might not be the right one for you.
Remember it’s not all about the money!
Selecting a tenant simply on money may be one of the biggest mistakes that many landlords face. For instance, during the interview or the viewing, a tenant is extremely picky over the smallest things about your property, then this is a good indicator that they’re going to be quite a difficult tenant. Another indicator is if they litter once they are on the property. This can also be a sign that they will not take care of the property. Make sure you are very observant and pick up on the smallest signs.
Selecting a tenant can be a time-consuming process but if you rush you may be left with a tenant who may not be a good fit. So remember to take your time, ask questions and go with your gut instinct. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.