When you own condos for rent, obtaining tenants is of the utmost importance. In fact, making sure your vacancies are at a minimum is often the primary concern for owners. However, despite the overwhelming importance of keeping your units filled, it is still good to keep a little perspective. After all, you do not want just any tenant in your condos. You want the right tenants. That is why you should take the time to screen your potential tenant accordingly. To get started, here are four of the best pre-checks you can use for your condo rental.
Screen Potential Tenants With A Credit Check
While you try filling your condos for rent, remember that it is not just about having people inside your condo. It is about having people who pay their rent each month. One critical reason why vacancies hurt your bottom line is that vacancies represent lost income. However, the effect is even worse if you have tenants in the unit who cannot or will not pay their rent consistently. This is why completing a credit check matters. A credit score does not tell you everything about a tenant's financial history, but it can offer some revealing clues. If the score is low, it may be due to one or two bad experiences in the past. However, it may also be a symptom of chronic money mismanagement. You want someone who is financially able to maintain a monthly rent commitment, and a look at the tenant's finances should provide that critical insight.
Check Tenants In Advance With A Criminal Background Check
Another vital pre-check for your condos for rent might be a criminal background check. A criminal background check will vet your potential tenants through the legal system. You will be able to see if the tenant has any arrests, convictions or incarcerations. You will also see whether or not the tenant is on any watch list for being a sex offender or a terrorist. There are a few caveats to keep in mind. First, always double-check the results. It is possible for the information to get mixed up. Make sure that you have the report for the right person. Second, remember to take any information from the criminal check with some context. Just because there is a negative result on the report does not mean that you should not offer the tenant a lease. Look at the number of offenses, the nature of the offenses and how long ago the offenses occurred. Remember, people can change. If the tenant has good references despite the criminal check, then you might still offer that tenant a lease.
Develop A Dynamic Tenant Interview Process
While many pre-checks can be done impersonally, you should still spend time talking to the tenant. This in-person approach can be very informative. To make this process worthwhile, take some time to develop a dynamic interview. This interview is usually done after other pre-checks are completed. Therefore, during the interview, you should review the information that was gleaned in the credit check and the criminal background check. Discussing this information openly will give the potential tenant the chance to respond. This can give you a better picture of who the tenant is right now. During the interview, be careful about the questions you ask. There are numerous housing guidelines that prohibit questions about disability, race, family status and more. If you deny someone housing based on those criteria, you could be setting yourself up for legal liability.
Spend Time Assessing Tenants On Social Media
The advancement of technology has made screening tenants easier than ever. This is especially true since most people now live their lives online. The vast majority of potential tenants will have an active online footprint via social media. It is worth your time and effort to look at this footprint. Spend some time examining the tenant's social media account. This should give you an idea of who the tenant is and how the tenant likes to live. While social media posts should be considered in a larger context, they can provide good insight as to whether or not that tenant is a good fit for your property.