Want to know how to find good tenants? Landlords handle a long list of responsibilities. This includes managing the bills to the upkeep of your properties. But what happens when your tenants are irresponsible or unruly?
Maybe you’ll need to track down late payments or handle any damage done to the property. These issues can come up and it’s important to know how to react. Find out how to find good renters without losing your cool!
1. Knowing How to Find Good Tenants
Finding good tenants starts with creating the right application for them.
Your renter's application should include:
- Personal References — Usually two or three people who are preferably not related to the applicant.
- Employment History — You should ask for two years of employment history. This will help you understand how stable and reliable they may be.
- Past Rental History — Some applicant may not have this but it’s good to ask for. Contact any previous landlords and ask for more information.
It’s also beneficial to list any specific requirements, terms, and conditions you have. Keep everything up front if you want to find a good tenant.
2. What Makes a Good Renter
What makes a good renter is someone who is financially stable, proven responsible, and has great credit.
Some examples of a good tenant are someone with:
- A credit score of 650+
- A minimum household annual income of $55,000
- No pets
- No section 8 or criminal charges (Be sure to check your local laws first!)
- No previous evictions
- No smoking habits
Not all applicants will meet all of your requirements but you can have them explain their case. Asking questions may help you to understand tenants more specifically.
3. Know the Law
The Federal Fair Housing Act was formed to prevent discrimination against different classes of people in activities related to housing.
As a landlord, you cannot discriminate based on:
- Race or color
- Familial Status
Certain states also have their own exclusive Fair Housing Rules that you should know.
4. Do a Full Criminal Background Check
You should know, in detail, your prospective tenant’s history with the law. You can pay for someone else to gather the following information with landlord-focused packages and programs:
- SSN verification
- Address history
- Judgments and liens
- Partial credit checks or full credit reports
- Criminal history
A screening service should get catch anything you may have missed on your prospective tenant’s application.
5. Trust Your Gut
Where to find tenants that you can trust should come down to your instincts. Think about how the person makes you feel inside.
A good judge of character would be speaking face to face with prospects before taking them into consideration. Ask yourself if anything feels off from what they put on paper. You can trust your background checks, but try trusting your gut too.
How to find good tenants comes down to how much information you can have on the person beforehand.
You should be asking the right questions, cross-checking everything, and going with your gut before making any decisions. Got some more questions on becoming a landlord? Learn more about property management on our blog!