As a landlord, you aim to find the unicorn of tenants, one who lives in the rental for an extended period, does not damage the property, and keeps their rent payments up to date. This is the ideal tenant that landlords dream about finding. If they get the opposite, they wind up with tenants who are a nuisance or never pay their rent on time. Such tenants often move from one place to another at the drop of a hat, leaving a landlord with their property standing vacant and not earning any income.
Contrary to what you might have heard as a landlord, this unicorn tenant exists. The trick is knowing where and how to find a good tenant to live in your rental.
Ways to find a good tenant for your property
Here are the methods you should use to find a great tenant for your property.
Hire some professionals
The easiest way to ensure that suitable tenants occupy your rental home is to outsource the job of finding them to reliable property managers in Fort Collins, or other U.S. cities such as Everest, Real Property Management of the Rockies, and Stegner Property Management. They pride themselves on matching the properties on its books with top-quality renters who adhere to their rental agreement responsibilities. It has an established presence in the Centennial State, with offices in Denver, Fort Collins, Boulder, and Colorado Springs. Landlords relying on their services know their properties are in professional hands and do not need to worry whether their best interests will be represented.
Property managers know the ins and outs of sourcing tenants. They typically have waiting lists of pre-approved tenants that they contact as soon as a vacancy becomes available. This cuts down on how long a property stands empty, earning its owner zero income.
Set out expectations
If you decide to manage your rental independence, take a leaf from a professional property manager’s book to looking for tenants. Draft your advertisements to entice people to apply to become tenants. Use top-quality photographs and written text that highlights your rental’s best features. Investigate advertising platforms to determine which offer you the widest reach into the potential renter’s market.
Ensure your advertisement is specific about your expectations from the applicant. A vague ad that is light on detail will attract hundreds of applicants, at least half of whom will not be suitable. You can eliminate this problem by making your terms and conditions explicit in the advertisement. For example, if you do not want tenants with pets, stipulate it. Add that you intend to run credit checks on prospective renters. However, ensure that you do not exclude tenants for reasons that violate the Fair Housing Act.
You will attract dozens of prospective tenants to apply for it with a great advertisement. Ensure your application form is detailed to gather as much information as possible about them. The next step is to sift those applications and whittle them down to a shortlist of four or five. To complete this stage consistently, set up a checklist of criteria that you expect tenants to meet. For example, you could insist that they earn over a specific amount each month to ensure they can afford the rent.
Typically, an applicant should make 2.5-3 times the monthly rental fee, leaving them sufficient disposable income to pay their rent. When drawing up your criteria, bear the Fair Housing Act in mind again. You cannot eliminate prospective tenants on discriminatory grounds. If someone can prove you committed a discriminatory act, they can sue you for damages. Courts like making an example of landlords who behave this way, and you do not want to be that landlord.
With a shortlist of potential tenants, you need to verify what they wrote on their application form. This is a time-consuming process, but it reveals a lot of information about tenants that you might otherwise never discover.
Start by verifying that applicants have been truthful about their employment status and earnings. Speak to their previous landlords to find out why the applicant left their prior rental home. Run a credit check to determine how indebted your applicant is. Their income means nothing if they spend over half of it paying outstanding debts. A prospective tenant’s credit history also demonstrates previous behavior toward debt. Someone who makes late payments or does not pay debts is a risky proposition as a tenant.
By now, you only know the applicant on paper. However, you should not make any decisions without meeting them in person. Arranging a face-to-face meeting to show an applicant the rental home is an ideal opportunity to learn more about them.
Have a mental list of questions you want to ask prospective tenants to discover more about their character, moral values, and integrity. Do not make this process interrogatory, as the applicant might find it intimidating. Instead, keep the conversation casual.