Studies have shown that 3 in 10 tenants are bad ones. Effective landlord screening will help you weed out these rotten tenants and avoid any future headaches. Learn how to pick ideal tenants for your rental property with this step by step guide.
Step 1: Screening Your Potential Tenants on the Phone
This is the very first step of landlord screening so use it wisely to watch out for pleasant tenants and spot signs of trouble.
During the phone interview with your potential tenants, it’s crucial to know what questions to ask them. Your questions should give you a good idea of two important issues: Are your tenants able to afford your rent, and if they are cooperative people who will keep their side of bargain when it comes to your rental agreement.
To see if your tenant applicants are able and willing to pay the rent, the easiest way is to ask them for their credit score and if they have a credit report that they can show you. You should ask them for their job type and employer. If they are unemployed, ask for the exact source of their income.
From my personal experience, someone’s job type will heavily affect the stability of their income so be sure to stand up and take note. In many cases, a government worker will make a more reliable rent payer as compared to an entrepreneur who just started out.
A tenant who is financially stable is not enough. There is no point in receiving regular rent payments from someone who is a constant terror to you or your rental property. Your tenants should be pleasant and understanding people as well.
The most direct way is to ask them for their previous landlord and address so that you can contact the landlord to find out about his experience with your applicants.
Their reason for moving out is also another crucial question when it comes to landlord screening. Does your applicant need to relocate because he received a better job offer or is he being forcefully chased out by his current landlord?
Step 2: Interviewing Your Tenant Hopefuls Face to Face
If your potential tenant passes the first round of phone interviews, it’s time for you to progress to the next stage of landlord screening: Meeting them in person.
When it comes to choosing your perfect tenants, first impressions do count so do pay attention to the way he dresses and presents himself.
It does not matter if your applicant is clothed in the latest designer brands or laden with expensive jewellery. What’s more important is whether he is tidy and takes pride in his appearance. If your potential tenant is a scruffy mess, can you trust him to keep your rental property clean and tidy?
To weed out possible nightmare tenants, you need to pay extra attention to their attitude and behaviour. Choosing tenants who are easy to communicate and work with is a vital part of the landlord screening process.
They do not necessarily have to be friendly and charming, but they have to be considerate people who respect your authority and rights as a landlord. This is vital if you want to avoid massive headaches and possible losses in the future.
When negotiating the terms of your rental agreement, does he make unreasonable demands such as refusing to pay his security deposit. Is he extra fussy and complains about every insignificant detail when he is inspecting your rental property? If someone is a pain to begin with, imagine the destruction he will cause if he ever becomes your tenant.
Teo Zhenjie has been showing landlords how to manage their tenants and rental properties effectively on Propertydo - To learn more important tips on landlord screening, visit his website today for step-by-step real estate guides, free resources and forms.