Residential property management involves many aspects. Aside from the standard tasks of property upkeep and financial matters such as collecting rent; property managers have tenants to consider as well. A bad tenant can cause several issues for residential property management, while a good tenant can be a great asset. A bad tenant may cause problems such as damages to property, not paying rent on the contracted due date, and/or upsetting other tenants. In fact, the worst tenants can lead to legal proceedings over evictions and property damage which costs both time and money. Part of proper residential property management is screening tenants before a contract is signed so that issues are minimized.
Top five tips residential property management tools used to find the right tenants for their clients’ properties:
Verify Income And/Or Employment
A key issue with bad tenants is the inability to pay rent on time. One of the most basic ways to avoid this issue is to verify that future tenants have steady employment. Any potential tenants should have to provide proof of employment (pay stubs for example) before signing any rental agreement. Aside from proof of employment length of time at a job, attendance, and overall earnings should also be considered.
Check Their Credit
After employment is verified a credit report should be run on any potential tenant. A steady source of income is no guarantee that a potential tenant pays their bills on time. There are many people with consistent income who do not keep their funds well organized. A credit report lists two things of particular importance. Bill payment history and debt to income ratio. A potential tenant who pays their bills on time may not be a good fit if most of their income goes to outstanding debts. Residential property management should make sure that not only does the tenant pay bills on time but that they also have the funds to do so.
Run a Criminal Background Check
While criminal background checks can be expensive and time consuming, they are a needed tool. An ideal tenant will be one with either no criminal record or one whose record will not pose an issue concerning their desirability as a tenant. For example a potential tenant with a history of assault is a red flag, while one with a lot of speeding tickets may not be of great concern. However, always be thorough with your background checks and exercise common sense when considering what is relevant information. A good residential property management company will be aware of local rental laws and on what legal grounds a tenant may be denied.
Verify With Past Landlords
When asking a potential tenant for references, residential property management should also ask for contact information for previous landlords. A good way to tell if a tenant will be a good one is to check their past behavior. When talking to past landlords residential property management should verify things such as rental payment history, how the tenant treated neighbors, treatment of the property itself, were complaints filed and what for, and why did they leave.
Meet Them In Person
Lastly, residential property management should always meet a tenant first before coming to a contractual agreement. By meeting someone in person a landlord can learn about them. How a potential tenant acts can tell a lot about their habits, overall cleanliness, and what they think of the property itself as they walk through it. By meeting in person, residential property management can gather more information on a tenant and see if they are a good fit for the location itself.
Son-Rise Property Management is a full service property management company located in Bellingham, WA. Contact us today to see how we can help you find the perfect home to rent or manage your property.