5 Rules ---How to Choose Good Tenants
When my investors ask me to manage a property they just bought, they know I have a track record of finding good tenants. Easy,huh? Run an ad on Craigslist, answer the email, show the property and get a deposit. I wish it were that simple. It's not difficult to find tenants but it does take some years of experience to separate the winners from the losers...and a loser can cost you your investment.
First impressions are lasting. If you want to make a good impression ( and you should want to impress your future landlord), leave the "attitude" at home. Argumentative tenants do NOT hold a warm and fuzzy place in the hearts of landlords. Any type of disrespect or negative statement about the property on day 1 tells me to draw a big red line through this application.
Be on time. If the prospective tenant arrives a half hour late, that's not a good sign. Unless there is a really valid excuse, this would raise a red flag.
Trashed cars filled with junk always make me think of the lifestyle of the person driving it. Will the rental be just as trashy? Anyone with a bit of self respect will not drive a filthy vehicle, loaded with debris and dirty clothes.
Once a tenant came to a showing and told me they could move within 24 hours--we needed a tenant asap BUT certainly anyone who could move within 24 hours was either skipping out on the rent or just escaped from the local jail.
Big gaps in rental history-- I don't know about you but I can tell you where I've lived for the past 20 years--- if someone can't fill in the gap, they may be hiding an eviction or worse.
Although criminal reports are not required, you may consider one along with a credit report.
After all, by eliminating a loser, you might have just saved yourself a whole lot of aggravation....and maybe even avoided an eviction. It pays to be cautious when selecting tenants.