Trust me, there cannot be a worse nightmare than having a difficult tenant. It is absolutely vital to choose the right tenant to avoid sleepless nights. The success of your rental business rests on the shoulder of all but one guy and that is your tenant. Needless to say, before you start searching for that easy to manage tenant, familiarize yourself with the tenant and rent laws applicable for your state.
Choosing a tenant is a scientific process
The process of selection and choosing a tenant must be carefully planned and well executed. The age old traditional approach of word of mouth is a reasonable and risk free approach backed by references. In case the approach does not yield results you will have to fall back upon your realty agent or placing classifieds in newspapers and magazines. A good response to your classified would only make your job tougher but if handled well it could be the most rewarding experience. This is where you need to be careful and do a thorough job in terms of screening the candidates and calling them over to meet you physically. At the end of it all, you may screen a couple of good guys and ultimately choose one based on your instincts.
How to Screen Applicants?
Tenant screening service offered by a host of agencies is a fairly reliable and tested method of checking the credentials and history of the prospective tenants. Your short listing should include individuals with no late rent payment record, no legal proceedings related to tenant eviction and criminal record. Stipulate a credit score below which you would not shortlist a candidate.
Discuss the dos and don'ts and put them in the rent agreement
During your face to face meeting with your selected list of prospective tenants, it is important to discuss few issues that you are uncomfortable with and would not like the tenant to practice. Be strict with respect to adherence to the rent agreement. A well researched and documented rent agreement will stand you in good stead in those difficult times. Late payment of monthly rents, signs of tenant abandonment, restriction on late night parties are certain important points which you might want to be included in the rent agreement. Observe the comfort level and agreement of the prospects with idea of incorporating these points in the rent agreement. Rent agreement including the above points would make even an ordinary tenant look good. Ask for references from the candidates and do a sincere reference check including a call to their office to check their designation and character.
Make sure you take your time in selecting the right tenant rather than messing it all up with an early but a wrong catch. Most of the times, good tenants would certainly be more stingy and parsimonious while fixing the monthly rental compared to the troubling ones. Make sure you are not penny wise and pound foolish. Remember there are a lot of miscreants looking for those gullible landlords.