How to Find a Good Tenant

Every rental property owner wants to land the perfect tenants. It’s tough because even someone who looks good on paper may not end up being the greatest tenant. That’s why you should use a combination of observations made during your personal interactions and facts gathered from the rental application. This can help you avoid the troubles that can come from having a bad tenant and allow you to choose the best applicant from the bunch.

What Might Happen if You Approve a Bad Tenant

Lack of attention during the application process could result in accepting the wrong tenant. While it’s possible for bad apples to slip through the cracks, a comprehensive screening and vetting process helps prevent this. Here’s what might happen if you approve a bad tenant:

  • Property damage: A lazy, irresponsible, or disrespectful tenant could leave your property in shambles.
  • Eviction headaches: Whether a tenant doesn’t pay rent, refuses to move out at the end of the lease, or violates conditions of the rental agreement, you could get stuck dealing with the legal hassle of evicting a bad tenant.
  • Financial losses: In both property damage and eviction cases, you could be left footing the bill for repairs and operating expenses with no rent coming in.

Qualities that Make a Good Tenant

Owning rental property can be very rewarding and lucrative-if you can find a good tenant. Here are the qualities to look for and how to make sure your tenant has them:

  • Responsible: A good tenant remembers to take care of day-to-day responsibilities without being told. He mows the grass, changes the furnace filter, and cleans up spills. He’s proud of where he lives and takes good care of his rental unit. Look for a tenant who arrives on time to the property tour and has a clean credit report.
  • Respectful: A good tenant understands and respects the fact that this rental property is a source of income for you. She keeps the unit clean, follows the rules regarding smoking and pets, and isn’t loud late at night. Look for a tenant who treats you respectfully during your personal interactions.
  • Willing and able to pay rent: A good tenant doesn’t apply for a rental he can’t afford. He also keeps track of rental due dates and pays on time every month. Look for a tenant whose monthly income is three times higher than rent.
  • Willing and able to abide by the terms of the lease: A good tenant follows all the rules because she doesn’t want to cause trouble. Look for a tenant with a strong rental history, including no evictions and former landlords who can vouch for her.
  • Not likely to engage in illegal activities: A good tenant is a law-abiding citizen with nothing worse than a speeding ticket on his record. While the Fair Housing Act prohibits making inquiries regarding arrests, you can ask a prospective tenant if he’s been convicted of a crime.

Get Help Finding a Good Tenant

Tidewater has been working in property management since 1989, so we’re experts at determining whether someone will make a good tenant! Contact us today to learn more about our tenant finding services.