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Finding The Right Tenant

5 Mins read

Finding The Right Tenant ( Student Tenant and Non Student Tenant)

Being a landlord is equally interesting as it is challenging .One of the stressful things to do is finding a tenant, the right tenant. We all want someone who cause us trouble and stays away from trouble. Finding the right tenants for your rental property makes your rental business more successful. Quality tenants pay rent on time, take care of your property, and are easy to work with. Below, we reveal how to choose the right tenants for your rental property:

Set the Right Criteria

Before starting your search for new tenants, it’s important to set criteria. How much income does your tenant need to make to afford your rent price? Will you allow a tenant to live in your unit if he or she has pets? Asking yourself these questions will make your tenant screening process more effective. Here is our recommended checklist for tenant criteria:

  • Ability to pay rent
  • History of paying rent on time
  • Friendly and easy to work with
  • Clean criminal record
  • Fits your lifestyle requirements
  • Smoking
  • Pets

Create an Online Rental Listing that Sets Expectations

As you’re creating your online rental listing, you have the opportunity to write a paragraph describing your property. In your description, we recommend letting tenants know what the process will be like if they are interested in your property. Mention that you require a rental application and that they authorize a credit report and background check

  • List your property on top rental sites for free.
  • Get your listing in front of the best tenants.
  • Receive more leads in less time.

*Read more about how to write your rental property description in our next blog post.

Watch Out For Red Flags at the Property Showing

The rental property showing is the first time you meet a tenant in-person. You should pay attention to whether tenants show up on time, if they’re friendly, and if they meet your lifestyle requirements.

Ask these questions to see if a tenant is a good fit for your property:

  • What is your current living situation?
  • Why are you moving?
  • What is your desired move-in date?
  • What is your monthly income?
  • Can I ask for references from your former landlords and employers?
  • Will you submit a rental application?
  • Will you consent to a credit and background check?
  • Do you have pets?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Are you comfortable having roommates?

Red flags to watch out for:

  • The tenant shows up late, is unprepared, or is a no-show
  • Disheveled appearance and belongings are not well taken care of
  • Rude or disrespectful behavior
  • The tenant refuses to complete a rental application or authorize a credit and background check

If you don’t notice red flags and the tenant answers all of your questions, you should move forward with the rental application.

Learn What to Look for on a Rental Application

Your rental application should collect important information about your tenant. At The Housing Hub, we require three years of residence history and landlord contact information. We also ask for employer history with contact information for employer references.

With our online rental application, tenants can upload income verification with a w-2, pay stub, or an offer letter. We automatically reach out to your tenant’s prior landlords asking them important questions. Their responses are entered into the rental application so you can have all the tenant’s information in one place. This makes it easier to review applications and manage multiple tenant leads.

We also ask these five important questions:

  • Have you ever declared bankruptcy?
  • Have you ever been convicted of a felony?
  • Have you ever been evicted?
  • Have you ever refused to pay rent?
  • Do you smoke?

If a tenant replies “yes” to any of these questions, then this is a red flag. Learn more about how to review a tenant’s rental application.

Contact Employers to Verify Income

Find out if the tenant is a responsible, long term employee. Tenants who are stable employees will likely stay in their job for the coming year, which means you’ll have a tenant with stable income throughout his or her tenancy. When you reach out to a tenant’s employer, you should verify the tenant’s salary and ask if he or she is a long term employee.

Always make sure that you are talking to the right person. It’s possible that a tenant will lie and put a family member or friend down as a reference. An easy way to check is to Google search the name of the person you’re calling. You can also verify that he or she works at the company by searching on LinkedIn.

Find Out About Past Behavior from Prior Landlords

If you’re a Housing Hub landlord, then we reach out to prior landlords automatically with our rental application. If not, we strongly recommend you reach out to prior landlords and ask these core questions:

  • Can you confirm the tenant rented from you?
  • Did the tenant pay his rent on time?
  • Did the tenant reasonably take care of the rental property?
  • Was the unit clean and in good order when the tenant left?
  • Was the tenant disruptive to other tenants or neighbors?

It’s a good sign if you find out the tenant always paid rent on time, left the property in great condition, and was not disruptive to neighbors. It’s a red flag if the tenant missed rent payments, damaged the property, disrupted neighbors, or submitted fake references.

Analyze the Tenant Credit Report and Background Check

With the credit report, you can see the tenant’s credit score. The higher the credit score the better, but we generally say above 680 is good. You can also find out if the tenant has a history of making payments on time or has outstanding debt. This financial information is important. It helps you know if your tenant can afford your rent price and the likelihood that he or she will pay on time.

With the tenant background check, you will learn if the tenant has a criminal history. We recommend considering how severe the crime is, how many crimes the tenant has committed, how frequent the crimes are committed, and how relevant the crimes are. Violent crimes, robbery, theft, vandalism, arson, and unauthorized possession of a weapon are all crimes you should take seriously as a landlord. You don’t want to rent to someone if they are violent or if there’s a chance they will damage or steal anyone’s property. You can be held liable for choosing to rent to someone with a serious criminal history.

Once you’ve followed all of the steps above, then you are ready to make your decision.

Good reasons to accept a tenant:

  • Friendly and interested in your unit
  • Agrees to your tenant screening process
  • Arrives to your showing on time
  • Fills out all parts of your rental application
  • Has sufficient income
  • Responsible and stable employee
  • Has a history of paying rent on time
  • Sufficient credit score and solid financial history
  • Clean criminal record

Reasons to deny a tenant:

  • Doesn’t follow up with you
  • Doesn’t authorize the credit and background check
  • Is unfriendly or disinterested
  • Leaves the rental application incomplete
  • History of not paying rent on time or damaging a prior landlord’s property
  • Had court papers filed against him or her
  • Provides a fake reference
  • Doesn’t make enough income to afford rent and deposits
  • Has a low credit score

The criteria we’ve outlined are safe criteria to judge a tenant by, meaning they do not constitute housing discrimination, according to Fair Housing Laws. Once you’ve followed a consistent tenant screening process, you’re ready to accept and deny prospective tenants.

Next Steps

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