How do you find good tenants? Start by using your sphere of influence to locate potential tenants, in other words, advertise your rental property by word of mouth mentioning it to friends, family and colleagues.
If that doesn't work, use flyers posted in local spots, for example: convenience stores, grocery stores, town office, schools, gyms. Don't forget signage at or near the property itself. Use social media to promote your rental, as it is easy for people to share with others.
Once you have found a potential tenant, you will want to meet them in person and show them the home. Seeing your prospective renter in person can give you a chance to listen to your gut feeling about the person(s).
If they pass the meet and greet, and you wish to consider them as a tenant, the next step would be to have them fill out an application. Find a template online and be sure that it follows the rental laws of your state. Your rental policies will be in writing and address basic items; What is your policy on pets? Is this a strictly non-smoking home? This gets all parties on the same page from the beginning.
Next step is to check their references. This includes calling any and all former landlords, their current employer, and their personal references. You should call all references and pay close attention, were there awkward pauses, or did the person on the other end of the line speak freely about his or her former tenant/employee?
Don't be afraid to ask former landlords if they paid their rent on time. If they aren't able to answer, this should be a red flag to you. One key question to ask a former landlord, (one that they will answer without feeling like they could find themselves in deep legal trouble) is; "Would you rent to them again?" If they pass the reference check, we move to the next step.
The background check is important. My favorite service is Experian. It is easy for both the landlord and the tenant. Using this type of service means that you won’t have to handle paperwork and you won’t be in possession of your prospective tenant’s sensitive information. You create an account and send the potential tenant the link. They pay a fee, $14.95, and fill out the proper information.
Experian then lets you know whether or not they are likely to be a good tenant. Easy peasy! There are other companies that offer this service, a quick internet search will yield you a multitude of choices. I like Experian because they can also perform a credit check. Which bring me to the next step.
Check the potential tenants credit history! Using the applicant's Social Security number, you can get a credit report from credit bureaus including, Experian, Equifax, etc. If their credit checks out, and you have completed the aforementioned steps, congratulations, you are well on your way to securing a great tenant.
The final step is signing the lease - make sure all the inhabitants sign the lease, and collect first, last and security deposit.
I am proud to help my clients move to the next chapter of their lives. Call Amy Krikken, The Rock Star Realtor/Better Homes and Gardens/Masiello if you wish to buy or sell. 207-317-1338 .