There are good lessees, and there are bad lessees. While no shielding method is infallible, there are unquestionable components you should look at that’ll give you a better chance of having a nice tenant for your rental.
Follow these tips so that it can help you to make the best choice.
Table of Contents
Follow the Law
Landowners should treat all prospective lessees equally. There is a law, known as the Federal Fair Housing Act, which is designed to avoid differences against classes of people in any aspect related to housing.
So, one cannot discriminate based on the following:
- Race or color
- National origin
- Familial status (families with children)
Choose a Tenant with Good Credit
You have to search for a tenant who is financially responsible. If he or she is responsible for paying the bills; most likely they will be punctual with paying the rent and will be responsible for the apartment. Sometimes landowners ask their applicants to pay the credit check fee as well. Checking a lessee’s finances is a two-step method:
- Verify their Income
- Run a Credit Check
Perform a Criminal Background Check
The criminal information is public record and can be surveyed at various courthouses. This check will turn up important and unimportant crimes. You will need the lessee’s name and date of birth.
Keep in mind that those with a criminal record may try to manipulate this information, so make sure to check a valid ID to scrutinize that they are who they say they are.
Points of alertness:
Some state prohibits landowners from discriminating against leaseholders with certain criminal convictions. As the landowner, you may have an easier time explaining your refusal of a prospective leaseholder with a drug or brutal crime conviction than you would be refusing a leaseholder with speeding tickets. This is because drugs or crimes can threaten the safety of other leaseholders.
Doing a criminal check all by yourself can be really tiresome. It will be great if you hire a good tenant screening company to perform this investigation for you.
Look at the Tenant’s Rental History
If possible, it is suggestible for you to talk to at least two of the lessee’s previous landowners. This is because if the applicant was a problem causing lessee, the current landowner may want to get the lessee off their hands and may not be as trustworthy.
Questions to be asked:
- Did the leaseholder pay their rent on time?
- What was the reason for them to move out? Was the leaseholder evicted for not paying the rent or for breaking the landowner’s rules?
- Did the leaseholders give 30 days’ notice before moving out?
- How did they maintain their apartment? Were they clean and tidy?
- Did they cause any destruction to the apartment apart from normal wear and tear?
- Were they respectful of their neighbors?
- Did they complain a lot?
If the applicant is a first-time leaseholder, a student, or just a graduate, they may not have a rental history record. In this case, you can require a co-signer for the contract.
Choose a Tenant Who Is Stable
On their application form, look at the leaseholder’s prior addresses and employment or education history. Do they move or switch jobs very often? If they move often, this pattern might continue and you will soon have a vacancy again.
If they are unemployed, they will not be able to manage to afford the apartment in three months and you will be left starting your renter search from scratch or dealing with an eviction.
Maximum of Two People Per Bedroom
If there are a greater number of people in an apartment, the studio apt will be noisier and there will be more wear and tear on your investment. You must have a rule of a maximum of two people per bedroom as reasonable law under the Fair Housing Act.
Trust Your Instincts
You can do all the scrutiny in the world, but sometimes your instincts are the best judge of character or a situation. You might feel that there is something off about a tenant who otherwise looks good on paper later to find that the leaseholder has been using someone else’s identity to apply for the apartment. Trust your scrutiny, but do not ignore your gut feeling.
Last but not the least, if you have a vacant apartment, ask your friends to suggest if they know any person who is in need of an apartment. Or maybe your friends themselves might be in search of a good place to move in.
If you are renting an apartment to your friend, you do not have to go through such a long process and you can be tension free while renting your apartment.