If you are a landlord, you know what the real struggle of finding the perfect tenant is; it's never easy, and it will never get easy, but you can make the process a lot smoother if you set some ground rules. When searching for a good tenant, if you follow the ground rules, you will have an easier time finding and retaining your tenant and relaxing while they deposit rent to everyone. We know this sounds too good to be true, good tenants don't come by easily, not all are trustworthy, and not all are punctual with their payments. However, the following rules can help you create calm amid the chaos.
The Background Check:
In today's tech world, it's very hard to hide your past jobs and rental history. Everything is recorded online, and a trace like that is hard to remove. So, your first step should always be to run a background check on your tenants. A thorough background check saves you from a lot of problems. A credit check is also part of an average background check, and it is done to know the financial standing of your tenant. There are many tools online that one can use to run a background check on all potential tenants.
Most of these tools are free online, there is no need to pay, and if you do need to pay, this is a sane investment, one that will result in a good tenant, so it's worth every penny. Apart from that, with a background check, you can also get the contact details of former employers and landlords, and you can get a character verification from that with one simple call. All of this will save you from wasting your time and effort on the wrong tenant.
Choose Long-Term over Short-Term:
Don't settle on a short-term tenant when you have the choice of getting a long-term one. Don't decide anything in a hurry. Invest your time and effort in finding a long-term tenant; this will give you a better return on investment. Long-term tenants are, comparatively, politer, understanding, and are punctual with payments. Apart from that, you will be able to avoid going through the same process of finding yet another tenant for a year or so if you choose to go with a long-term tenant.
Moreover, long term tenants are also more careful with the property and its maintenance than short-term ones. You can build a good relationship with a long-term tenant, and the whole contract period will smoother. With everything going smooth, there is a huge possibility that the tenant will go for a renewed contract with you again.
Keep Your Rental Updated:
Want to attract better tenants, shape up your rental and keep it updated. You can't impress a tenant with talks only; if you want to keep your tenant for the long haul, you will need to show him exactly what he needs. Most tenants are looking for a place that suits their needs, is up-to-date, and just a rental rate. If you have all of that and more, there is no reason you won't be able to find a suitable tenant for a long-term contract.
Just like you are looking for the perfect tenant, the ideal tenant is looking for a perfect place. Hence you need to put yourself in their shoes and scrutinize your rental. Leaking taps, peeling paint and stained carpets aren't the right way to welcome a new tenant. Revamp your place, get a moving-out inspection every time a tenant ends the contract, and vacates the rental. A fresh coat of paint, thorough cleaning as well as a few mandatory repairs will help you impress your tenant big time.
The Meet and Greet:
When everything checks out, and you are pretty certain this is your perfect tenant, call them for a small interview. The screening may have gone well, but a short meeting in person will help you gauge the personality of your future tenant. Due to the Covid-19 situation, meeting in-person may not be a great idea, so you can always set up a Skype or Zoom session. This small in-person meeting will help you understand a lot about your potential tenant.
You can judge your tenant when he arrived, was he on time, was he running late, was he with someone or alone. Apart from that, you can also judge them on the basis of their communication, polite and respectful is what you should be looking for.
Small Talk During the interview helps:
You have your meeting; the tenant is there in front of you, don't rush this; take your sweet time and put the tenant at ease. Set a timer for every meeting; ten minutes is enough to judge anyone. Before you rush off to show the tenant the house, ask them about their hobbies, what's their weekend routine like, how do they manage their pets, and all. Answers to all these routine questions will help you see your tenant in a new light.
Skipping the Security Deposit Is A Big No:
By now, you must have found the perfect tenant, and you like them, they like you, it's a match made in heaven. However, if you are thinking of waving off the security deposit because your potential tenant is too nice to do anything impolite, you need to stop right there. Even the best tenants may have issues or hidden agendas; your security deposit will give you an upper hand.
No matter how polite, friendly and trustworthy your tenant is, no matter how many good references he may have, do not wave off the security deposit. And if they have a pet, make sure you get a separate pet deposit as well. This will help you recover your investment if the tenant vanishes without paying rent in the last few months or if there is any kind of damage to the property at your tenant's hand.
Your perfect tenant is out there, it only a matter of time, he will come to you, and when he does, you'll know what to do. Follow the above rules, and you will be fine.