Finding and retaining great tenants is the goal of every rental property owner, but everyone has a problem now and then. Professional property managers use these steps to assure success. If you don’t have the time to do them yourself, hiring a manager may be the way to save yourself the hassle and legal problems that can come along the way. Also, the first step in finding tenants is widespread advertising with good photographs and descriptions of the property. If you’re not a photographer or a writer, or can’t use the internet, don’t attempt it yourself.
1) Screen properly – Screening tenants includes:
- checking their ID
- pulling credit reports
- verifying their employment or income with pay stubs or W-2’s
- checking their past rental references (actually calling them!)
- listening to what previous rental owners have to say
Screening is also something you do yourself, asking specific questions about who will actually live in the property, if they smoke and if they have pets.
2) Trust your instinct
If they keep you waiting for the deposit, they’ll probably make you wait for the rent. If the boyfriend comes along, ask if he’ll be staying there. If there are gaps in their history, don’t be shy to ask them why.