How to Find The Right Tenant For Your Rental Home

October 14, 2016

Finding the right tenant for your rental property might seem like an easy feat. After you’ve purchased a condo or house, you can post a few ads and secure tenants. But are they the right tenant? Being a landlord isn’t that easy in reality. It can be challenging and downright miserable at times! All landlords have had their fair share of nightmare tenants, whether it was an individual who never paid rent on time, destroyed their rental apartments, or ran an illegal business on their property. Without due diligence in properly screening tenants, you won’t find the right tenant. Instead, you’ll end up with tenants who give you a constant headache!

Here’s a guide to finding the right tenant for your rental property:

Do a credit check to find the right tenant

Enforcing a mandatory credit check as part of the tenant application process improves the chances of finding responsible tenants. These tenants will have a higher chance of paying rent on time. Make sure you ask for permission from prospective renters before looking at their credit score. Individuals with a good credit history have proven themselves as financially responsible, therefore likely pay rent on time. There is a small fee for credit checks. If your city or town allows you to charge an application fee, you can request a tenant pay for the credit check.

Conduct other background checks

Aside from running a credit check, you might want to look into additional background checks for the prospective tenant. There are several companies that offer background check services that are priced slightly more than a credit check (again, you can add this cost to your application fee). A background check will uncover any legal or other issues the prospective tenant has experienced. Additionally, you can do a social media background check on the individual and see what type of material he or she posts online.

Check their references

Once you’ve received positive results from the tenant’s credit check and other background checks, you are free to follow up on the references the tenant provided on the apartment rental application. In the application, make sure you specify that at least one of the references is a previous landlord so you can ask said landlord how he or she was as a tenant as well as any other questions. You should also look into character and work references.

Charge an application fee; the right tenant will pay for it

In order to filter out the serious renters from the not so serious, you can charge an application fee. Check to see first if your city or province/state allows a tenant application fee before enforcing one. Price the application fee high enough for someone to stop and consider if it is worthwhile; however, the fee shouldn’t be high enough to scare off potential tenants. It’s also a good idea to offer to apply the fee toward the security deposit if you select the prospective tenant.

Conduct interviews to find the right tenant

You should always interview your potential applicant. Depending on how many prospective tenants you have, you might want to conduct phone interviews to expedite the process. Having said that, you don’t want to rush this step. At the end of the day, you to be left with a good sense of how responsible the prospect is and whether he or she will make a great tenant, so talking to the person will give you some insight into the kind of person you’re renting your apartment to.

Alternatively, you can download CirclApp for a seamless, one-stop shop for all your landlord responsibilities. The app allows you to make a profile with all your pertinent information, as well as offers several unique features like Rent Score, which takes into account a tenant’s apartment rental payment history when applying for a new property; and a Rating System, which measures a prospective tenant’s past renting conduct based on their credit rating and references.