The definitive guide on what makes a dream tenant and where to find them.
- Finding dependable tenants can be difficult for property managers
- What do landlords look for in applications? Here’s the answer
- Property management companies and word of mouth can help you find a reliable renter
Finding a dream tenant for your rental property (or landlord, for that matter) can sometimes be a lot like browsing a dating app. You just swipe merrily along until you find someone who likes walk-in closets and a private yard. It’s not always that easy, however, and there’s a lot more information you’ll need to review to find a good tenant. You want someone who won’t break your toilet or your heart.
Choosing a bad tenant for your rental might cost you much more than just repairs. Unexpected tenant turnovers cost roughly $1800 monthly. There’s also the matter of time and mental stress. Avoid all that unpleasantness by filling your rentals with dream tenants. The current demand for rental housing is high, so you can likely take advantage of that and be selective to find the tenants you want. This guide walks you through the qualities of the perfect tenant and where you can find them.
Qualities of a Good Tenant
You can save a lot of money and frustration if you keep an eye out for certain qualifications when vetting prospective tenants. You may even want to jot down a short list to create a good tenant description that meets your needs. What do property managers look for in a tenant, though? Here are some of the most important criteria to keep an eye out for:
Pays on Time
Paying rent on time is arguably the most important of all renter’s qualifications. Late rent is a significant financial issue for many landlords. Rent payments are often used to cover a landlord’s mortgage payments, and if tenants don’t pay on time, they cost the property owner even more money. A tenant who always pays their rent on time is a coveted commodity.
Respects the Property and Neighbors
An ideal renter will love and respect the property as much as you do. They should take pride in the property because they live in it. The best tenants are those who care about where they live and strive to keep it up to their standards and yours.
Being a good landlord is challenging when your tenants don’t communicate. You can’t take care of maintenance issues you don’t know about, and the longer they go unattended, the more expensive they tend to be. Mold left to run rampant in a home, for example, might end up costing you thousands in the long run. Great tenants openly communicate all pertinent issues, and you never have to wonder what’s happening with your unit.
Provides a Detailed Application
The truth is that what makes a good tenant application is one that’s filled out completely and accurately. Every piece of included data is critical for the rental process. Applicants who don’t complete the application could also cause a delay in the process. Providing all of their most pertinent information from the start indicates they are likely trustworthy and serious renters.
It’s important to remember that whatever criteria you use to choose tenants must be administered to every applicant similarly. No one group of people can be judged differently than the rest, according to the Fair Housing Act.
How to Look for a Good Tenant
The tenant pool is more extensive than ever, so being stringent in your leasing approach is a safe bet. Even thoroughly vetted residents can turn out to be nightmares now and again, so taking those extra steps to find the perfect tenants is worth it. You can increase your chances of finding a suitable tenant by looking in the right places. Here are a few tips:
Word of Mouth
Some say word-of-mouth advertising is the most effective there is. It’s certainly the cheapest. Since people are putting their name and reputation on the line each time they recommend a product or person, it’s also often a credible form of advertising.
Past tenants, investors, and vendors are all great sources of word-of-mouth advertising. Consider offering a referral fee or a fancy dinner if the prospective tenant works out well.
An open house can net you the perfect client because it’s an in-person interaction where you can meet people face to face. You can see the applicant and get an authentic feeling for their personality while they fall in love with the unit in real time. You may even get an opportunity to look at their credentials or get a pre-application from them.
Property Management Companies
Property management companies provide landlords with already vetted tenant leads. They can also help find vendors, explain legal issues, and manage other issues related to rental properties. Working with the right property management company can save you time and be a huge asset, whether you’re a landlord or a tenant.
Signs at the Property
A traditional “for rent” sign out front of a property may bring in many rental applicants, giving you a lot to choose from. They may not all be trustworthy, however. That’s when you put your detective hat on and go to work vetting your applicants. You can also use a service to do this instead if you want professional assistance with the process.
Good tenants are everywhere, but so are bad ones. The trick to ensuring you don’t get burned is properly vetting your applicants before offering a lease. Finding dependable tenants is imperative for every landlord who wants to stay in business. Learning to vet them correctly is equally important. Don’t let a few bad tenants bring you down. Many credible, honest tenants are out there waiting to care for your rental. Now you have the tools to find them.
Get Help Finding Great Tenants
Taking the time to find reliable tenants isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Nomadic Real Estate does property management in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia regions, helping landlords fill available rentals with qualified tenants – and helping tenants find great rentals. We can help you whether you’re searching for the perfect tenant or the perfect place to call home. Contact Nomadic Real Estate for more information about your Greater D.C. property management needs.