We all know there are good tenants and there are bad tenants. You have invested a lot of time and money into your rental property, so why not use tenant screening to protect that investment?
Bad tenants can be everyone’s nightmare. So, it is important to avoid them. There are several things you should know about an applicant before renting out your property. Here we are sharing some of the most important.
PRIOR LANDLORD REFERENCES MATTER
Prior landlord references are a good clue to discover what kind of tenants your applicants are. There are several questions you could ask former landlords. You want to double check with them if the information the applicants are sharing with you is correct.
Knowing when and why the tenants left, if they gave prior notice of vacating, how many people were living at the property, if they left the unit in good conditions, or if they had a problem with neighbors will be very helpful.
You want to find out if your applicants adhered to the terms of the tenancy agreement and if they requested permission for pets or any property alterations. All this information should match what the applicants are stating.
WHO WILL BE LIVING AT THE PROPERTY?
Landlords have the right to know how many people will be living in the rental unit and who is living in it as well.
You spend a lot of time and effort trying to find the perfect tenant before letting anyone move in, and when the tenant you selected allows a long-term guest in, this step gets skipped and it can become a problem. Including a guest policy in your lease agreement is something important you should consider.
There should always be a clear distinction between a guest and a tenant. If a guest will be staying at the property more than 15 days, he or she shouldn’t be considered a guest anymore and this should be explicitly stated on the lease.
ARE THEY RESPECTFUL AND EASY TO COMMUNICATE WITH?
Making sure you can trust your tenants is crucial. Avoiding problematic tenants is easier than finding ways to handle them once they are living in your property.
You can learn a lot about your applicants by running a background check. An important element of a background check is looking into their criminal history. A person with a criminal history could put you, your property, and your neighbors at risk.
A noisy or disruptive tenant is very annoying to other residents near the unit. You can add a clause in your lease agreement that states after several complaints from neighbors, an eviction can take place. If it is not stated in your lease agreement, then it will be very difficult to evict a tenant for these reasons.
According to Florida law, tenants must not violate the law or disturb the peace, nor allow their guests to do so.
HAVE THEY BEEN EVICTED BEFORE?
Find out if and why someone was evicted before you rent. Eviction records on your applicants’ background checks is another essential piece of information to objectively learn what type of renters they have been in the past.
Evicting tenants can be a very long process and their previous history will usually be a good indicator of their future payment behavior. While you may not always want to automatically disqualify applicants based on this red flag, knowing an applicant was once evicted, certainly requires some additional research from you or your property manager.
WHAT ABOUT THEIR INCOME?
A good credit score is one of the best predictors of a good renter. You want to look at a tenant who is financially responsible. If they have a history of being responsible with paying their bills on time, then paying the rent each month will not be a problem.
Those with high credit scores are also usually interested in protecting them and will therefore try to pay on time and will avoid problems when possible.
Ideally, you want to find a tenant whose monthly income is at least three times the monthly rent.
At Pristine Property Management we conduct tenant screening to ensure you only get quality tenants. You do not have to do all of this on your own, contact us today.