Selecting Tenants

A Lot To Let
Creative Commons License photo credit: BinaryApe

It’s been said before and it will be said again but it bears repeating, choosing the right tenants is the most important job a landlord, property manager and property owner has. To make sure you’re getting the best tenants possible, you’re going to have to do a little work.

You’re first step is to get an application form that will be completed by all prospective tenants, no exceptions. Make sure the form has all the questions you want to ask but none that are illegal. Most states and the federal government have laws which regulate what you can ask during the application process. Refresh yourself with the local laws to be certain that you?re not violating any rights by asking the wrong questions.

Then you’ll want to check credit, income and references. You need to know that your tenant is capable of making the rent payments (in addition to any utilities they will have to pay) and that they handle their credit obligations responsibly.

If your state has open criminal records, go to the website and research your prospective tenant to again gauge their level of responsibility and any future problems that may arise.

And then, make all decisions fairly, based on the same criteria, and with business in mind. It may be tempting to give someone a break or to judge someone on their personality or looks, but you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment and possible lawsuits. Be professional and consistent and thorough in your research and you’ll get the right tenants each and every time.