How Do You Know When You've Found The Right Tenant?
Updated: Jul 1
Finding a good tenant is not always a walk in the park. You may kiss many frogs until you find the right fit. While it can be difficult to predict whether you will get along with them, there are certain qualities that can make a prospect stand out and pass the test.
To help you, we’ve listed some key indicators to let you know they are high-quality tenants.
Good Credit Score
A good credit score alone can’t really tell you whether a tenant is going to treat your property with respect or not, but it does say a lot about a person’s history and sense of responsibility. Credit scores are calculated based on several factors, including a person’s previous payment history, the amount they currently owe, how long they’ve been making payments, how much new credit they have, and the types of credit cards they use.
A prospect with a good credit score is a good all-around indication of their ability to make reliable payments. Also, it shows that the person pays attention and cares about financial reputation.
We’ve talked about credit scores and also established that this can’t tell you everything about a person’s past. You’ll also want to dig into the payment history the renter has established during past living circumstances. You can call a previous landlord or property manager to determine how reliable the person was about making payments and turning in rent on time. After that, you can use the information to determine the likelihood that the candidate has to make full and on-time payments in the future.
A nonexistent history isn’t a reason to turn a tenant away immediately, but a positive history is a better sign you’ve found a good one.
This factor should be obvious. For a tenant to pay you reliably, he needs a stable and trustworthy source of income. Ask where your tenant is currently employed and how long they’ve been working there. You’ll want to make sure the person makes enough money to afford the rent you plan to charge since the longer they’ve been in the current position, the more they are likely to remain there for the foreseeable future, thus making them able to pay the rent. According to this Tampa property management company you may also want to ask about the tenant’s previous employment history and look for any signs of volatility that could concern you.
Goals And Life Plans
We’ve talked so much about screening the candidates professionally, but how about going deeper and getting to know them personally? If you’re interviewing a tenant informally, ask them about the person’s goals and vision for the future because this can give you a pretty good idea of what kind of person they are.
If the tenant doesn’t have an answer, that’s not necessarily a great sign, and it can mean they have no life goals or any plans of being stable, which could potentially place you in a difficult position in the future. You might also be able to find out how long the tenant plans to stay in the area or in your rental property by asking this.
They Take Care Of The Property
Let your candidates know the benefits of treating the property they move into with care, as taking pride in ownership of the rental will secure the return of the security deposit and build for a great landlord recommendation if they decide to move out. Although normal wear and tear are expected, preventing tenant-caused property damage is ideal.
A dream tenant will keep the property sanitary so as to not invite pest infestation or even cause property damage. If the tenant does not keep a clean home, the landlord may deduct the amount paid for extermination or repairs from the tenant’s security deposit per the lease terms.
Ability To Be Honest
One of the most appreciated and key qualities of a good tenant is honesty. If something negatively affects their financial situation and rent becomes unaffordable, a landlord will always appreciate honest communication.
While a tenant isn’t required to share all their personal information with you, they are required to pay their rent throughout the lease term, and being honest about any issues that can arise can be the grounds for a trusting landlord-tenant relationship.
Follow Lease Terms
A standard lease prohibits any illegal activity on the property or behavior threatening the community's safety. The right candidate will uphold these rules as well as any other lease terms with no problem.
Lease terms commonly broken by rebellious tenants might involve pets or obnoxious parties that disturb other renter’s right to quiet enjoyment. Beyond the failure to pay rent, lease violations like these constitute legitimate grounds for eviction, which is expensive and stressful for all landlords. However, the right tenant would have absolutely no issue with these requirements.
While it’s tempting to fill your property vacancy as quickly as possible, the faster you fill the hole, the sooner you’ll be able to collect the rent money regularly. It could be worth your patience and time to wait for the right candidate to come along in the long run.
A property manager can help guide you through figuring out which tenant is the right one for your property, conducting good background checks, and communicating with prospects. They are familiar with red flags in this industry and can help you prevent possible nightmare situations. Use them wisely in your hunt for the next tenant!
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