If you are thinking of renting out your residential property, finding a good tenant is arguably the most crucial key. By creating a list of qualities to look for in a tenant, you can protect your investment and avoid costly evictions, non-payments, and potential damage to the property.
This is why a lease agreement is essential; log in CocoSign to find free downloadable templates with sets the terms and conditions for tenants living in the house.
Quality tenants are respectful to their neighbors, pay rent on time, take care of your property, communicate on any damage or maintenance issues, thereby making your work easier. Landlords have multiple ways of finding prospective renters, but it can be narrowed down to two main steps: marketing and screening.
The first step provides an overview of the most effective marketing strategies. This step allows you to showcase your property to a wide enough net to have a strong tenant pool to select from. In the next section, we’ll take you through how to take your applicant pool and screen for good tenants.
Marketing Ways to Find a Good tenant for your Residential Property
- Real estate listings sites: Sites like Craigslist’s, Zillow, Trulia, and Postlets allow you to market your listings to a large audience free of charge. Most of these sites allow potential tenants to boil down their searches based on the features they’re looking for in a property. Note that the quality of the pictures and description you include are a critical aspect of attracting tenants.
- Use a realtor: Getting quality tenants can be challenging. However, hiring a realtor will smooth things out. A realtor can help landlords by working on those tedious advertising and marketing tasks, leaving property owners to deal with current tenants. To make your and realtor’s work more manageable, you can download and customize free residential lease agreement from CocoSign and speed up the searching process.
- Social media: Posting your residential property to a social network can have significant effects. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are just a few options for getting eyes on your residential property. Your posting can be viewed by those closest to you, and then their connection will help you get one potential renter. Ask them to share with their friends and family for a wider reach.
- Utilize signage: Putting up a “rent sign” out on your yard will attract prospective tenants cruising around the neighborhood. You can also place small bandit signs with your property features in busy intersections, a street sign, a telephone pole, and get a call. They often grab attention in an inexpensive way. Plus, it’s an easy way to network within the neighborhood using word of mouth.
- Newspaper: Taking advantage of affordable listings ads in your local newspaper is a tried-and-true way to attract tenants. It’ll be worthwhile to place your advertisement on newspapers weekend edition; especially the classified section.
- Offer incentives: Offering incentives like free house appliances or discounted rates if a tenant moves in by a specific date may help you fill your vacancies faster. To excite them further, you can add referral fees and move-in bonuses.
How to Ensure You Find the Right Tenants
Once you’ve marketed your residential property, you can move to the next step, which involves screening the applicants for a suitable tenant. By complying with Fair Housing Laws to avoid any form of discrimination, the following are the best things to consider.
- Create a detailed rental application
The rental application should help you capture most information possible out of applicants without sounding too intimidating to scare them away. The right questions to include in the application are based on employment, income, and rental history. If a potential tenant fails to provide this standard information, that’s a red flag.
- Conduct credit checks
A credit check is a useful way to ascertain whether or not a potential tenant is financially responsible. You need to look for any bankruptcies, repossessions, evictions, or foreclosures. You can also look at employment and payment history on the credit report. Adding up the minimum monthly payments of liabilities can give you a rough idea of the tenant’s ability to pay their rent on time.
- Income verification
Some tenants tend to list whatever income they think will please you to rent the property. You need to ask for two or more official paystubs and look at gross income and what they’ve earned to date. It’s also important to check if there are any deductions or withdrawals from retirement accounts. Once you’re sure of their monthly income and debts, you can get an idea if they can comfortably afford the property.
- Contact their references
If you asked for a list of references, such as previous landlords and current employers, call them and inquire about a tenant. When you call previous landlords, be objective about it because anything can be subjective and impacted by the landlord and property. Ask about tenant payment history and how they ended the lease.
As for the employment, confirm whether they’ll remain employed for the foreseeable future. If the tenant has a high rating of retaining the job, the more likely they’ll be able to pay their dues on time.
- Check criminal background
Checking criminal history is vital when looking for a good tenant. Use their valid ID to verify that they’re who they say they’re. You may wish to welcome tenants with certain minor offenses like 50 speeding tickets. On the other hand, a tenant with drug and violent crime convictions would probably not make a good tenant or even jeopardize other tenants’ safety. However, be cautious about your local state law on the discrimination on certain criminal offenses.
There’re several ways to land yourself a suitable tenant for your residential property; however, a few of them are useful. That’s why you are strongly urged to spend enough time marketing and screening applicants to find a great tenant.