What do landlords look for in an ideal tenant | How do landlords pick tenants?
1. is to never, never, never break any of your own rules with regard to rental requirements. Every time that I have bent my own rules or compromised regarding requirements for tenants, I have been
burned. Take it from the voice of experience. Now..on to the rules. NO PETS.period! See rule # 1
2. Ideally you want to rent to married couples. Remember, however, it is against the law to discriminate on the basis of familial status. I have also had good luck with young professionals over the
age of 25. Do not rent to students unless they are graduate students with adequate income and credit and are near or over the 25 year mark. Avoid self employed individuals, painters, construction laborers,
even if they try to allure you with the prospect of doing repairs, improvement, etc…AVOID. Also avoid boyfriend/girlfriend tenants, especially if there is a child involved. The couple can split up leaving the woman there without sufficient income to pay the
rent. Marriage adds commitment and stability!
3. Prospective tenants must have credit and checking accounts.If they state that they pay everything in cash and they DO NOT WANT CREDIT, this means that they really have BAD CREDIT. Avoid like the plague. Do not accept anyone that has had a bankruptcy,
regardless of how much they have now “gotten their act together”. There is always an excuse. AVOID. Make them provide a credit report, readily available online for free. . If they balk at this, forget them.
4. The amount of monthly rent should not exceed 25-28% of the tenants Monthly net income. You do not want people with inadequate income renting your housel They will struggle to pay and you will suffer the results. Use net income, and that means income after things like child support, alimony and judgments have been deducted. Verify income if you can.
5. References-The prospective tenant must have a verifiable reference from a former landlord. Always check with the former landlord to see if they pay their rent on time. This is absolutely the best gauge of the
way they will pay you. Try to drive by their present rental if you can and see how they maintain the property. If the yard is unkempt, there is no reason to think that they will treat your property any better.
6. Personal appearance-Take a look at the personal appearance of the prospective tenants and especially their car! If they drive a hooptiemobile that is filthy and cluttered with all sort of debris, this is how your
house will look! AVOIDI
7. After you have selected what you feel will be a good tenant, collect the security deposit as acceptance of the application. Always require cash, a money order or a cashiers check for the first month’s rent. This assures you that you will have your money and prevents a very bad start with the tenant in case he should accidentally bounce a check.
8. Never, never, never let the tenant move anything in or give them the keys until you have the security deposit and the first month’s rent. After things are established, personal checks should be accepted.
You can always call the bank’s merchant check verification number if you have any doubts. Usually, after a period you will become comfortable with the tenants and get a feel for them and just deposit the checks. If you have followed the rules selecting a good tenant, this should not present a problem. If a personal check is ever returned for insufficient funds, a 5% service fee should be accessed and personal checks will no longer be accepted for payment of rent. NO EXCEPTIONS, there is always an excuse.
9. If the house is slow renting due to the season, or whatever, don’t panic and rent it just to have it rented. It is much better to sacrifice a months rent or several than to compromise your rules and take a chance on a marginal tenant.