Finding a good tenant is quite a challenging task. There are some tenants that seem OK at first but as time passes by, they might be any landlord’s worst nightmare. You need to have a set of criteria to qualify tenants when you are looking for the right tenant. Most property investors buy investment property on the premise that they can rent it out to good paying tenants. The tenants do not just have to pay on time. They should also take care of your house as if it is their own.
One of the things that you should consider when looking for tenants is their credit history. This is to take care of the financial aspect of the deal. A person who has a superb credit history means that he is able to keep up with his debt. It may also suggest that he or she has a good paying and stable job that enables him or her to pay diligently. In any case, this is a good indicator that your tenant will be able to pay the rent regularly as well. Just to be thorough, make sure you also verify the employment of the potential tenant.
As part of the background checks, obtain at least 2 references from previous landlords to ensure that the potential tenant has a good track record of looking after previous properties they may have rented. If they have not rented before then ask for 2 character references from 2 independent parties that the tenant has dealt with before. In fact the landlord should go one step further and ask the tenant for a Guarantor to sign a Guarantor form on behalf of the tenant.
A tenant Guarantor form is essentially a form that is signed by someone who knows the tenant to take responsibility of any costs that may be owed by the tenant that they fail to pay. It is a binding agreement that may be signed by either friends or family of the tenant and (although it is optional) it must be signed to ensure that you add further security and protection in case the tenant defaults on any rent payment.
If a tenant has arrears and you have a Guarantor sign the Tenant Guarantor form then you can legally chase the Guarantor for the payments that the tenant has not made. It is wise to ensure that the Guarantor also has good financial circumstances so that he/ she is able to pay you any dues on behalf of the tenant. As a guideline, a good Guarantor should at a minimum be employed home owner.
There might be a lot of good tenants in your area but the problem is they are all staying in other apartment or houses for rent. How do you find good tenants for your property? It all boils down to good advertising. To start getting the word out to the public, you can make use of word of mouth advertising. It is fast, easy and it will not cost a penny. Spread the word through your family members, friends, neighbors, and office mates. Put up notices on your work notice boards and any other community boards. You would also of course need to do other forms of advertising to find your tenants including the Internet.
If you find a tenant who is related to someone you know, the good thing is that they would not want to destroy their reputation. This means that they will do the best they can to maintain the house or apartment. You can interview them and do background checks before you admit them into your property.
Once you have found good tenants, your next job is to hold on to them for as long as possible. Make sure that you are a good landlord so that the relationship is mutual. Handle all complaints properly and keep your reputation clean. Tenants would love to rent in properties where they would have a good working relationship with the landlord. Discuss restrictions before your tenants move in so they will not be surprised when they actually get to live in the property. Be completely clear about the terms of the tenancy and encourage your tenants to read the tenancy clear from the outset to avoid and arguments and differences later on down the line.