If you own a rental property, you know how much of a headache it can be to manage the property. From doing all the maintenance to bringing in new tenants and collecting rent, there’s a lot of work to be done as a property owner. One thing that can make this workload much smaller is bringing in the right tenants from the get-go. However, it can be hard to know if you’re going to be renting to a great tenant without really doing your due diligence. So to help make this process a little easier, here are three tips for screening potential tenants for your rental property.
Look At The Type Of Debt They Have
When searching for a new tenant to fill your vacant rental property, there are a few things you should be looking at during the first few steps of your screening process. One of these things is pulling a credit report to see how consistent the applicant has been with paying their bills. Along with this, you’ll also be able to see how much debt he or she has. While this can be an indicator of financial health, Brian Davis, a contributor to Bigger Pockets, reminds us that not all debt is created equal. If there’s debt from a mortgage, that’s a lot different from credit card debt. So before you judge, make sure you’re looking at the whole picture of their credit report and total amount of debt.
Get The Right References
On your applications for tenants, you should require them to put a few different references for you to call. But to get quality information, you’re going to want to get the right references. According to AllBusiness.com, you should get contact information for their last landlord. This person can be an invaluable reference to help you know if the tenant is going to be a good fit for you. Also, actually make phone calls to the references that are given as character references. Some people just fill in random information thinking that they won’t get a call, and you can use this to weed out those who you might not want to be renting to.
Conduct A Tenant Interview
Once you have two or three tenants you’ve narrowed your search down to, Angela Colley, a contributor to Money Crashers, suggests that you conduct a tenant interview. During this time, you can ask more questions of the potential tenants and get a feel for what their personality is like. However, you’ll have to be careful that you don’t ask questions that could imply that you’re discriminating against renting to them for any illegal reason.
If you have a rental property you need to fill, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you screen for the best possible tenant.