If you’re hoping to find the right tenant for your property and aren’t sure which qualifications to consider, there are several clues that can help you understand what kind of tenant a person will be. While Federal Fair Housing rules dictate that you cannot discriminate based on race, color, national origin, gender, family status, or disability, there are other criteria you or your property management company can use.
In general, a good credit score means that the prospective tenant pays their bills on time each month. However, a tanked score doesn’t necessarily mean they are a bad tenant. Look at the credit report to see what happened. If all other bills were paid in full and on time except for some medical bills, it’s possible that the applicant suffered a minor health setback but is otherwise trustworthy. While a credit score is important, you’ll need to view the whole report to get an accurate representation of the applicant’s financial history. If you don’t have the time to review individual reports, a property management company can help streamline the process.
References from Previous Landlords
While their current landlord may give you a glowing recommendation just to get the applicant out of their property, previous landlords typically have no reason to be dishonest. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and find out if they would rent to their previous tenant again.
Length of Previous Tenancy
If you’re hoping to find tenants that will stay several years, look for tenants with a history of staying in one place for a while. People are creatures of habit, and those who prefer to move a lot will likely not stay longer than the length of a single lease. If length of stay is important to you, check out the individual’s history.
Run a Criminal Background Check
This can be difficult and is usually done with the help of a property management company. However, if you really want to avoid unscrupulous renters, it’s essential. While a single transgression in the past, such as public intoxication or other trifling matter, may not sway your decision much, it’s important to know if your applicant is a criminal or recent convict.
Choosing the right tenant for your property can be a challenge. By keeping these tips in mind, you can make the best decision possible for your investment. If you’re daunted by the process, a property management company can make it much easier and faster.