Leasing Property And 6 Tips For Choosing The Right Tenant
By Kurt Real Estate Nov 23, 2019
Screening tenants is one of the most important parts of leasing property. The person you select will be its caretaker so it is critical that you do a thorough screening of each and every candidate in order to choose the right tenant. This is why we recommend using a property manager as property managers are experts at the screening process. They know how to identify a Type A candidate from a Type B candidate by taking all necessary steps in qualifying them. Nevertheless, some owners want to handle the process on their own. For those that do, we have a few pointers.
1.Adhere to the Federal Fair Housing Rules. You cannot discriminate based on: national origin, race, religion, sex, family status, or disabilities. This applies on both a national and state level, so be sure to abide by the rules and regulations of both.
2. Run their credit report and verify income. Not only is it important to check the credit history of an individual and identify if they have a track record of delinquent payments, but it is equally as important to verify their income. Bank statements provide you with their debt-to-income ratio and allow you to see how timely they are with their current rent payments.
3.Don’t skip the background check. Running a background check can be just as critical to your screening process as running a credit report. Criminal history is public record and will show both serious and minor offenses. We highly recommend you don’t skip this step. *Keep in mind, California law prohibits discrimination against renters with certain criminal convictions.
4. Call their references. If the prospective tenant has nothing to hide, they’ll be happy to provide a reference and the landlord or property manager will likely provide a glowing recommendation. This helps you to gain a better understanding of how the person will treat of your place. If anyone is resistant to providing reference contact info, that should be a red flag.
5. Choose someone who’s consistent. Look at job stability and their previous addresses. Does this person seem to move around a lot? They may not be the most reliable tenant. If they’ve lived at a previous residence for several years that not only proves that they are reliable, but it is likely that they take care of where they live and will be a quality and potentially long-term tenant. As a lessor, the last thing you want is frequent vacancy.
6. Limit the number of tenants to 2 per room. This is what the Federal Fair Housing Act considers reasonable and is in your best interest. For a room 500 square feet or less, anymore than 2 people would not be feasible. Additionally, having too many people crammed in a unit can cause much greater and quicker wear and tear.
If you’re beginning the search for your next tenant, be sure to take all the necessary screening measures before accepting an applicant. You could be protecting your property from damages and evictions and could end up making a long-lasting relationship with someone that you trust will take care of your home.
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