As a landlord, having renters is important. Having renters who are good tenants and pay the rent are even more important. You can make sure to have a good tenant by pre-qualifying prospective tenants. It will save you time and aggravation. If you the landlord, have trouble doing it yourself, a property manager can do it for you.
Renting your property to the right tenant is important. Finding the right tenant means asking questions and checking them out. This is called pre-qualifying the tenant and it’s important to do it before they move in. Once in, it takes a lot to evict a bad tenant. Prequalifying a tenant is not about discriminating against people. It’s about protecting your property. Remember that there are federal and state laws that prohibit a landlord from not renting to people due to race, religion, age, gender, disability and so forth. Make sure that your decisions are not based on any of those reasons. Not renting to someone should be based on their inability to meet financial burdens of renting, or reasons such as a negative criminal background. A good property management company will know all the laws and all the questions to ask.
First thing, be sure to let any prospective tenants know what the rent and deposits will be up front. The first thing this will do is take those that can’t afford the rent out of the running, saving you the time from the next steps. Tell them there will be a credit and background check to be done as well. Ask all prospective tenants for the following information:
• Employment history
• Prior addresses
• Social security number
Once you have this information, you need to do several things with it. First, check on previous addresses to see if they were good tenants. Ask about late payment history. Check with the courts to see if there is an eviction history, foreclosures, bankruptcies or any criminal background. Next, use their name, address and social security number to run a credit history. Prospective tenants with any kind of financial issues or criminal background may mean they are a bad risk. Use the information to help whittle down your list. Also verify employment and check to be sure that they are who they say they are with a photo ID. Again, if you have a good property management company they will do all this work for you!