How To Find The Best Tenants For Your Property
One of the most important tasks when renting out your property is finding good tenants. Ideally, you want to find a tenant that pays rent on time, keeps the property in good condition, and sticks around.
Unfortunately, there are many bad tenants out there with horror stories to match. There are tenants who stop paying rent, cause extensive damage to the property, or even steal from the homes they're renting. Nightmare tenants can cost homeowners a huge amount in money, legal fees, and peace of mind. So, learn how to find the best tenants for your property to avoid unruly or disrespectful tenants.
1. Make your property presentable
Your main goal is to attract tenants to your property, so keeping your property looking as attractive as possible will help you drum up interest. What’s more, presenting a clean and desirable home should attract tenants who also value cleanliness and presentation, and will treat your home with the same care.
Focus on curb appeal by ensuring all broken fences or tiles are mended, the driveway has been cleaned, and the garden landscaped. Inside, you should focus on the main selling points of a home — the kitchen and bathroom. Invest some time and money into making some upgrades in these areas. The difference between a tired, old bathtub and a modern tub could make a difference in attracting a quality tenant.
2. Create a web listing for your property
If you have a target audience you want to appeal to, it makes sense to advertise your property in a way that targets these specific tenants. If you’re looking for a more mature couple, you can emphasize in your listing the home’s close proximity to public transport and the local shopping center. For property owners seeking young families, you can give details of the local schools or your large backyard and garden area.
You should also create a web listing for your property. Use quality photographs and be descriptive yet realistic when writing about your property’s features. Make sure you choose a reputable website when advertising your property, as this can also make a difference in regard to the type of clientele you attract.
3. Screen prospective tenants
Once prospective tenants have shown interest in your property, it’s time to do some background checks. A tenant application should have three references from an employer, previous property manager, and a personal referee. Make use of these references by giving them a call and asking questions about the tenant. Helpful questions can include:
Did the tenant consistently pay rent on time?
Did the tenant maintain the property well?
How did you enjoy working with the tenant?
Can you describe their overall character?
It’s wise to ask the tenants’ former employer about their reliability while at work, financial status, and employment history. With these details, you can gain more of an overall picture of your prospective tenant.
4. Look at the tenant's rental history
You want to choose a tenant that has good credit history and is financially responsible. If they’re timely and responsible when paying their bills, chances are they’ll be reliable when it comes to paying rent on time.
Ideally, you want a tenant whose monthly income is at least three times the monthly rent. Also, run a credit check to factor in their income to debt ratio. Also look out for prior evictions, civil judgments, and bankruptcies. It’s also important to check with the tenant’s previous landlords to see if they ever had trouble with the tenant.
5. Use a property manager for help
If you’ve purchased an investment property, you need to ensure it’s properly managed. Hiring a property manager can help you to navigate the complexities of renting out your property and give you an added sense of security when it comes to picking out quality tenants.
A property manager will help with finding good prospective tenants, and will also market your property; prepare legal and rental bond documents; offer market advice, and handle all screening, inspections and property maintenance to ensure you’ll attract the right tenants for your property.
If you want the best tenant for your property, then you need to target your property to them. Using advertising and marketing strategies to attract these clients, along with making your home more attractive to buyers, is a great way of doing this.
To avoid a bad tenant horror story, your best bet is to always trust your instincts. Keep communication open and get to know prospective tenants to find out what type of renter they’ll be. Patience is key, and the right tenant may not come straight away. Wait for that perfect tenant and never settle for a less-than-ideal tenant that may cost you time, money and a lot of headaches.