The happiest landlords are those that have managed to secure good tenants for their properties. A good tenant is one who not only pays their rent on time, every time, he is also one that takes excellent care of the property as if it was his own. This kind of tenant leaves the landlord content in the knowledge that their asset is being well looked after and that unless something totally unexpected happens, they can expect to get it back in as good, if not better, condition as it was given out. At the same time, they are the kind of tenant that most landlords would be desolate to hear want to move out. A good long-term tenant provides a reliable source of income for his landlord, and should be valued. Here is a guideline to help in identifying good tenants and avoiding the pitfalls of landing a nightmare tenant.
- Clean up the property – before you can list a property and begin showing it to potential renters, you need to clean it up. depending on the amount of damage left behind by the previous tenant, this could involve as little as applying a fresh coat of paint, or as much as repairing structural damage. Have the property professionally cleaned to give the best impression. Good tenants know their worth, and tend to seek out properties and landlords that are of a similar caliber.
- Put the word out – when trying to find a good tenant you have to let it be widely known that there is a property available. in most instances, you will need to evaluate a lot of potential tenants in order to find the best. You can list with local realtors and property management firms, put a notice in the classifieds and put up a ‘To Let’ sign on your front lawn.
- Ask for references – you can use a simple application form to request the names and contact info of potential tenants’ references. Be sure to specify that the references be previous landlords, current employer and a personal reference. This can help you find out what kind of tenants they have been, if they have a steady income and their personal character.
- One on one – make use of the walkthrough to get a feel for the kind of person you will be dealing with. Even within a few minutes of discussion you can work out if you are dealing with someone who in inclined to be clean, respects’ others property and can be respectful.
- Do a background check – this is always a good idea. You can request for a small application fee from potential tenants to cover the cost of running background checks. Find a reputable service and let them provide you a simple report on whether a candidate makes for good tenant.
- Consider a large deposit – if the property you are offering is particularly desirable, you should have no problem finding potential candidates. To help weed out those of lesser financial strength you can opt to assign a large deposit amount. Ideally, the amount should be higher than a months’ rent. A large deposit can encourage a tenant to take good care of the property or risk losing the amount to repairs. Ensure that this is included as a clause in the tenancy agreement to avoid legal disputes