How to Find a Quality Tenant.

One of the biggest problems many landlords face is finding a quality tenant who will take care of their property as if it’s their own. Often times landlords will rush to fill their vacancies because they don’t want to lose any more rental income. However, in the long run, it is better to be patient and wait until a quality tenant is found. So don’t settle because a bad tenant can end up costing $1000s more in rental damage or missed rent payments than a few more vacancy days.

Now you may be asking yourself, “But how do I find a quality tenant?” Well, here’s how:

  • First and foremost, you should always follow the law. Brush up on your state housing laws to make sure you don’t end up in any legal problems because fines can be a high cost. Learn more about the Fair Housing Act.
  • A great way to start your search for a quality tenant is to ask friends for help. You can share your listing on social media and ask friends if they’re looking for a place, or know of anyone looking to rent. Friends can also share the listing, so it’s a great way to get free marketing. However, you should still always screen tenants, even if it’s a friend.
  • Another great way to get free marketing is to contact local companies. Companies often hold year-long leases even for interns who will just be living there in the summer. They can also post your listing to their weekly newsletter for any new employees who may be looking for a place to rent. Another upside is you will have peace of mind knowing your tenant has a stable income.
  • But even if a tenant has a steady income, you should always ask for a credit report.  The reason is that even if your tenant earns three times the rent, they may have a very high debt to income ratio. This could mean they will have trouble paying the full rent amount every month. So sometimes a tenant who earns less income but has less debt may be the better choice.
  • In addition to the credit report, you should also request the tenant’s rental history. You should ask for references from at least two people not related to the tenant, and make sure to speak to at least two previous landlords. The reason is because the previous landlord may lie to get the tenant off their hands if they were a bad tenant. If the tenant doesn’t have a rental history because they’re a student, for example, you should require a co-signer such as a parent. 
  • The last thing you need to ensure you find a quality tenant is their criminal history. Records are publicly available, but it can be a time-consuming process. But with sites like Trintals, you can save time by having the tenant complete their credit report, rental history, and criminal background check in one easy screening report.

Besides screening your tenants, here are some things you can do from the listing side to attract quality tenants from the start:

  • Have a thorough application that disqualifies bad tenants. You should include the minimum income and credit score, and let them know if pets and smoking are not allowed. You should also let tenants know any positives and negatives about the property so that you don’t waste time showing the property to someone who will end up saying no due to something the property lacks. By being transparent and including detailed requirements in the listing and application you can scare off most of the unqualified tenants. 
  • One of the easiest ways to attract quality tenants is to write a description that tells a story. Your description should walk the tenant through the home and include any amenities and surrounding attractions that the tenant could enjoy.
  • Another simple way to attract quality tenants is to have high-quality photos of your listing. Check out this previous blog article to learn how to take quality photos.

We have gone over many ways to ensure you find a quality tenant. But one of the most important things you can do is to trust your gut instinct when it comes to picking a tenant. That’s why it’s so important to always meet your tenant in person. You can also require your tenants to show proof of renters insurance just to be on the safe side.

The eviction process is different in every state, but they are always expensive and time-consuming. In fact, according to a survey conducted by TransUnion, the average eviction costs $3,500 and can take at least 3 to 4 weeks. So avoid the hassle of evicting a tenant by having tenants complete the Triple Power Screening Report.
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But the trick is not only to find a quality tenant but to keep them for the long term. That’s why it’s so important to have open communication with your tenants and to always treat them with respect. You should always be open to critical feedback from your tenants and always respond to any requests promptly.