Terrible tenants can cost you thousands of dollars. There is more than just unpaid rent a stake when you have a terrible tenant. They can cause costly damage to your house, extended vacancies during repairs, and even damage your reputation as a fair and honest landlord.
Inviting someone to live in a house that you own comes with risk. Properly vetting your tenants can lessen that risk to the point where the benefits of a rental income outweigh it. Use these ten tips recommended by the Forbes Real Estate Council1 to vet your tenants:
- Establish Clear Protocol: Have a system in place and stick to it. Make a list of hours rules and qualifying characteristics and stick to it no matter what.
- Take References Seriously: If the tenant tells you their old landlord was a jerk, they are probably buttering you up to overlook a bad reference. Don’t let that trick work on you.
- Assess Patterns of Behavior: Call at least two past references to see if the applicant paid regularly and respected the rules.
- Scrutinize History Against Written Records: Look at credit reports, criminal backgrounds, and any other records you can get your hands on before letting a tenant sign a lease.
- Hold In-Person Interviews: Meet the person face to face and ask them questions about their application. Any inconsistencies in what they tell you and what they wrote down should be a red flag.
- Have A Bulletproof Lease Agreement: Make sure your lease agreement is airtight and update it between every tenant. Have legal counsel on hand so you can call one the moment you need them.
- Check Social Media: The perfectly put together person who meets you at your home may have a wild side that they are hiding from you. Do a sweep of their social media to look for undesirable behaviors.
- Screen All Applicants: Don’t just look at the primary applicant. Check on co-applicants, roommates, and anyone else who may be living in the home.
- Think Like a Detective: Think of your tenants as being disqualified until proven qualified. Keep your eyes wide open and question everything.
- Use a Third-Party Service: There is a lot of time and effort that goes into finding a good tenant. If you don’t have the time to do it right or are a first-time landlord who is worried about making the wrong call, get professional help. It could save you thousands of dollars.
If you are looking for the perfect tenant for a rental in the Sacramento area, I can help you today. Call me 916-838-0909.
1 American Apartment Owner Association. 11 Steps Landlords Should Take When Evaluating New Tenants. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/1/#search/realestate%40krisanderson.com/FMfcgxvzLrDsFZNtcKmBrggWFZzWNvjq?projector=1&messagePartId=0.1