Every landlord hopes they get them. You know, the “good tenant”. Tenants who pay the rent on time, take care of the property and never, ever have emergencies. While there is no foolproof method to getting one, there are steps you can take to stack the cards in your favor.
Step one: set some standards. If you want a good tenant, you need to be sure you have a bar that they can’t easily reach. Your standards should include things like their income to rent ratio should be at least three times the rent. So, if your property is renting for $1,500/month, your prospective tenant should be making at least $4,500/month.
Another bar to set is they have a clean background. That means no criminal records, especially no felonies! They must have good references, not family and friends, but past landlords or business contacts. The last bar sounds like common-sense, but no evictions in their past… as in ever.
Next, use those standards to pre-screen your prospects. If they don’t qualify when they first call, don’t waste everyone’s time showing them the property. Those who do qualify should be judged (yes, I know, I used the “J” word) on how they present themselves. If they pull up in a car that looks like it is bound for the junk yard, dressed sloppily and have an attitude problem, nix them, fast.
Make sure your application is thorough. Ask for basic personal information: name, phone, address, social security number and date of birth. Get a rental history and work history.
Ask about evictions, judgments and broken leases, as well as criminal history. And be sure that where they sign has a release of information, so you can use this information to check them out
with a background and credit check.
Make those prospective tenants jump through your hoops. Remember, you aren’t there to be nice, you are renting your property out to make money. Keep that in mind and follow these steps.