Blog & Resources for Landlords

10 Things to Evaluate When Looking for a Qualified Tenant

May 1, 2019 6:47:25 PM

There are several reasons why finding a tenant is difficult. The answer lies in one simple word: qualification. To be considered a qualified tenant,  you have to have the right combination of variables. This article will help you identify 10 specific things to look for when searching to fill a vacancy.

  1. Know what you will accept. It is important that you go into the process understanding what you are willing to accept from a prospective tenant. What things are important to you: rental history reports? Rental credit check? Tenant background check? Determining what you consider an acceptable score or level is important before even seeing the first applicant.
  2. Understand why they are moving. This is one of the most important things you want to know as you go into the evaluation process. Why is the tenant is looking for a new place? Run a background check to get a feel for their rental history. 
  3. Find out when they are moving. Is their situation urgent? If so, why? Sometime the reason can be something unforeseen like a fire or natural disaster. Other times the reason can be more tenant-specific, like default on payment or eviction.
  4. Determine what your pet policy is. Be clear on which pets are acceptable and about the breed, size, or weight of the pet. Consideration of some pets and not others could be a deal breaker for your potential tenant.
  5. Ability to pay and proof of employment. Knowing your tenant’s ability to pay the rent is an important aspect of the decision making process. 
  6. Find out how many people will be living in the unit. Is this going to be a family or roommates? Knowing what happens if a roommate leaves is important to your income. Likewise, you will need to perform a credit check on all of the people paying towards rent.
  7. No relation. Renting to someone you know or are related to can be problematic. There is preconceived notion that you will be lenient on them should they be late or break the rules. That is not an efficient way to run a business and could potentially cause problems for you down the line.
  8. Rental references. Much like in a job interview, tenants can and should be asked for rental references. They should be able to provide the name and contact information of their previous landlord(s). 
  9. Criminal history. This is an important aspect of a tenant’s background. The potential tenant is required to divulge anything that might impact residency. Tenant screening comes in handy here.
  10. Personal references. These references will give insight to your potential tenant on a personal level and whether to continue leasing process.  

Seems like a daunting list, doesn’t it? That’s where tenant screening services come into play. Using a comprehensive service will eilimate the guess work and find tenants that will be least likely to default on their lease. 

Topics: property rental

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