Because of the current state of the economy, more people are being forced to rent since owning is becoming exceedingly expensive. This creates a situation with most landlords where they have to choose from a pool of extremely qualified tenants. Follow these five guidelines to choose the right tenant for you and your property:
- Always check references! This is one of the most important steps you can take when choosing a tenant. Call each reference and have a list of questions handy to ask them about the potential tenant.
- Perform a credit check. With this part of choosing a qualified tenant, run a credit check and see their bill-paying history, their income to debt ratio, any past convictions (bad checks, etc.), or if they have ever filed for bankruptcy. Houserie.com allows you to choose from a variety of credit and background check options.
- Run a criminal background check. Since a tenant’s criminal information is open to public record, you can search to see if they have any criminal history (theft, violence, etc.) to make sure the tenant is a safe choice. Houserie.com not only offers a national criminal background check, but also an eviction check to see whether a tenant had been previously evicted.
- Check out the prospective tenant’s overall lifestyle. On their application, note if they have moved around frequently, or if they change jobs a lot. Steer clear of tenants who do either, since they might break their lease and move after just a few months. Or such a tenant may suddenly become unemployed again, thereby unable to afford their rent payment.
- Go over the rental contract with each potential tenant. Doing so will cut down on misunderstandings and miscommunications in the future.