If you’ve ever lived in a shared house together with other people, rented out your flat to strangers, or just listened to other people’s stories, you know very well that there are terrible tenants out there. The kind that doesn’t pay rent on time or even ever; those that play ear-shattering music in the middle of the night; and even those that leave the place looking like trash.
Luckily, these are few and you can easily avoid the worst kind by simply keeping your eyes open and listen to your gut-feeling before closing the deal. Here is a handful of tips on finding the one, ideal, perfect tenant who will look after your place is if it was their own.
Meeting Face-To-Face: Spot the Red Flags
A lot of work can be done when you meet the prospective tenant face-to-face the first time. It is probably when you show her the property, so prepare a set of questions and know what kind of answers you’d like to hear. Naturally, the first questions will be about income – and anything that doesn’t qualify for the amount you need each month is the wrong answer.
Their current living situation and reason for moving is also interesting, so keep the conversation going and focus on how confident they’re able to answer each question. A decent real estate company will be able to tell you more, so don’t be afraid of asking.
A potential tenant that’s late without letting you know, looks messy or disorganized, or behaves rudely should be dismissed quickly. Red flags are often the same once you’d be looking for when hiring a new employee – or the impression you get in general of a new person. We usually know who we like and dislike, so go with your gut feeling on this one.
Refusing a background check or credit check is also a bad sign; if everything is in order, there should be no problem with you looking into this.
Give Their Former Landlord a Call
This is another one that a lot of real estate investors who just became landlords try to avoid by all means. It’s the same feeling an employer has when she actually makes that call to their previous employer; it feels like it’s done in bad faith, and might leave you with a strange sense of guilt – but it is the responsible thing to do.
Maybe you’ll have a quick phone call where their former or current landlord says the tenant is excellent, clean and well-liked by all, but you may very well hear quite the opposite about them.If they continuously paid rent late, even withheld it and refused to move out, knocked a hole in the wall and harassed their neighbors, you’d like to know about, right?
Remember to ask about more than whether they paid rent on time. Some people are irresponsible and rich, so they manage to pay every time but cause a lot of damage to the property. Others are responsible but with less of a stable income – they might pay a bit late sometimes, but they always deliver at the end of the day and would take care of the place as if it’s their own.
Make sure that you find the right one and you’ll avoid all the headaches that comes with irresponsible tenants.