Owning a rental property is like running a business. And just like a business would go through a long hiring process for a new employee, a landlord should go through a long hiring process for a new tenant. Owning rental properties can be a lucrative venture and can help you earn passive income or even save for retirement. The last thing you want is an unruly tenant putting an end to your financial dreams by destroying your property or failing to pay rent on time.
To ensure your rental property stays in good standing and you receive your rent payments on time, it’s important to take your time when searching for tenants. Below, we’ll go over how to find the best tenants for your rental property.
Post a detailed ad
Whether you just acquired a new rental property or your previous tenants moved out, you need to find a way to market your property to attract new tenants. This can be done with a detailed ad that highlights your property and what it has to offer. To ensure you attract the right tenants, you want an ad that has
- High-quality photos of every room
- Details about the property
- Information about what utilities are included in rent and which the tenant has to pay for
- Your pet policy
- Rent cost
- Price of the security deposit
- Application information
When it comes to posting an ad for your rental property, you want to be as detailed as possible. This way, you can weed out any applicants that might not be eligible. Depending on your area, the rental market could have high-demand or low-demand, which can affect how quickly you find a tenant. To increase your chances of finding the perfect tenants, post your ad on multiple apartment listing sites, such as Zillow, Craigslist, ApartmentFinder, and Zumper.
However, make sure your ad complies with all federal, state, and local laws. This means your ad can’t discriminate based on race, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and familial status.
Once you post your ads for your rental property, you’ll begin receiving applications from prospective tenants. In your ad, you want to make sure to provide a link or information for filling out the application. On the application, you should always ask for references from previous landlords.
Once you receive each applicant’s references, take the time to contact each one. Whether you decide to call, video chat, or email each reference, make sure to ask important questions that will give you an overview of the tenant in question, such as:
- Will the tenant pay me on time?
- Has the tenant damaged your property?
- Is it easy to get in contact with the tenant?
- Has the tenant caused any problems with any neighbors?
Questions like these can help you get a better understanding of each applicant.
Conduct a background check
A background check is another essential task landlords must perform. A background check can provide you with a lot of helpful information, such as a credit report for landlords, criminal history, and other information. When running a tenant screening, you can expect to get the following information:
- Credit report
- Criminal history
- Previous addresses
- Employment history
- Eviction report
With this information, you can determine whether a tenant is who they say they are. For example, an applicant may claim they have a full-time job that can help them pay rent. However, a background check might uncover that they have been out of work or jump from job to job.
Host an interview
The final step to finding the best tenants for your rental property is conducting an interview. While the COVID-19 pandemic is putting a halt to face-to-face meetings, there are plenty of ways you can interview a potential candidate during these strange times. For example, you can set up a Zoom meeting to video chat with potential candidates to get a better understanding of their current situation. Or, you can set up a socially distant meeting where you speak with the applicants at a distance, such as in a park. When interviewing, get a sense
of their body language, composition, and how they present themselves. If something feels off, always trust your gut instinct—it’s usually right!
Finding tenants for your rental property can be a difficult task. However, the last thing you want is to accept tenants you’re not so sure about just because you don’t want your property sitting vacant. In the end, this can do more harm than good. With these tips on finding the best tenants for your rental property, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you made the right choice.