As an owner, you want to protect your investment. You also don’t want your investment to remain vacant for a long period of time or end up with a tenant who stops paying rent. Picking a qualified tenant can be stressful. You can hire a property manager to find a tenant and manage the property, but that does come at a cost. There are ways to minimize the risk of selecting a “bad” tenant.
A good tenant generally is considered as someone who has a good track record of on time payments. They have the ability to cover upfront costs such as security deposits or first and last months rent. They have no history of an eviction or criminal record, good references from past landlords, acceptable credit and steady stream of income.
Familiarize yourself with federal, state and local housing & tenancy laws that may end up applying to you. US Department of Housing and Urban Development is a good place to start. Finding a great tenant usually starts with a great property. Improve the property where it most makes sense financially.
Advertise. There are plenty of places you can publicly advertise your property for rent. In your advertisement, make sure to state your expectations in the ad. These can include lease terms, smoking status and pet deposits.
One of the most important steps is conducting a comprehensive tenant screening with credit, criminal and eviction reports. There are online companies that offer full reports on credit, background checks, income insights and eviction history. If it also very important to call previous landlords and find out how their experience was with the tenants.
Remember to always maintain respect with the tenants. Select your tenant based on qualifications. Fair Housing Laws still apply to you when selecting a tenant.
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