There are few things that strike more fear in property owners than renting to bad tenants. Bad tenants are likely to pay the rent late, be disruptive and cause property damage. And evicting them is not easy–it is time-consuming and costly. Every property owner should know how to avoid bad tenants, so they can protect their investment.
Here is our list of seven helpful tips on how to avoid bad tenants.
1. Meet the Prospective Tenant
How to avoid bad tenants? Meet prospective tenants before renting to them. This meeting allows you to evaluate the rental applicant’s demeanor and get a sense of who they are. Are they friendly and respectful? Or are they loud and rude? How the prospective tenant behaves during the meeting is a good indication of how they will behave as a tenant. You should also pay careful attention to how they answer questions regarding their employment and rental history. Note if they are calm and forthcoming with their answers. But if they seem agitated or try to avoid answering your questions, they could be hiding a negative rental or work history.
2. Carefully Review the Completed Rental Application
Property owners should carefully review completed rental applications. Some rental applicants provide false information or deliberately withhold negative work or rental history that could keep their application from being approved. It is important to confirm the validity of the information on the application, and ask for clarification if some answers are vague.
If an applicant’s stated income seems too high, request an official job offer letter, a recent tax return or pay stubs. Scrutinizing every detail on the application will help weed out potentially bad tenants.
3. Conduct Background and Credit Checks
Property owners can avoid the hassle of bad tenants by conducting criminal background and credit checks on all applicants. Some applicants may even decide to stop the application process once they learn that you will check their criminal and credit history. You may also want to avoid renting to applicants who have no credit history since there is no way to determine if they pay their bills on time.
4. Contact References
Rental applicants are typically asked to provide references from their current landlord and employer. But property owners should take the reference check a bit further by contacting both the current and previous landlords and employers. By contacting current and past landlords and employers, you will gain better insight into the applicant’s rental and employment patterns and level of stability. You may discover that the applicant has a history of frequent job-hopping, late rent payments, and disruptive behavior. A little extra research on the applicant’s references will help you avoid renting to an irresponsible tenant.
5. Do Not Set the Rent Too Low
Property owners should be careful when deciding on the rental price. If the rent is too high, it could discourage quality applicants from renting the property. But if the rent is too low, it could give potential renters the impression that the property is subpar or in an undesirable neighborhood. As a result, the cheap rent could attract financially unstable applicants and bad tenants. You should look for several similar rental properties in your local area and set your rental price within that range.
6. Do Not Accept Partial Security Deposit or Rent Payments
You may encounter a rental applicant who asks if they can pay their security deposit or rent in installments. They may tell you they have just experienced a tragedy and promise to have the money by a certain date. Do not fall for manipulative tactics. There is a possibility the applicant could be telling the truth, but unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous tenants who are skilled at ripping off landlords. Once these scammers have access to your property, they will not pay rent or uphold their agreements, and they will live rent-free for months until they are evicted. Keep in mind, if the prospective tenant does not pay the security deposit and rent before the tenancy, they are unlikely to pay once they are a tenant. Property owners can usually spot these scammers once thorough reference, criminal background and credit checks are conducted.
7. Hire a Property Manager
Owning and managing your own property is difficult. Not only do you have to worry about maintaining the property, you must work hard to attract the right tenants and work even harder to keep your current tenants satisfied. This is why it is best to leave property management to experienced professionals who will work hard to find tenants that meet or exceed your standards. Hiring a property management company in Ogden will allow you to rest easy knowing that the property managers know how to avoid bad tenants and maintain your property.
To learn more about our property management services and how to avoid bad tenants, please contact our team of friendly property managers in Ogden today.