As a landlord or property manager, you assume the responsibility of finding good, long-term tenants for your building. As such, you are expected to maintain a healthy relationship with your tenants. This can be difficult when you have a tenant who doesn’t pay their rent on time. A bad tenant can also cost you in terms of legal fees and property damages. To prevent renting a property to a bad tenant, make sure you properly screen them before they sign the lease. Remember to look out for “red flags” during the screening process that will help you separate a good tenant from a bad tenant. Here are some indicators of a good tenant:
- Outstanding References – A good tenant will provide your with outstanding rental references. When calling these references, make sure you have a list of specific questions you would like to ask their past landlords. For example, you may want to inquire about past property damage, level of noisiness, or previous complaints against them.
- No Evictions – A good tenant’s record will be eviction free. If a potential tenant does have a past eviction, make sure you ask about the circumstances surrounding that evictions from both the prospective tenant and their previous landlord. You may want to consider a tenant with an eviction if it appears an isolated incident.
- Clean Background – During the tenant screening process, you’ll want to conduct a background check. Good tenants rarely have any past indiscretions on their record. If you discover a criminal past, consider the crime and the circumstances surrounding that crime before signing a lease with this prospective tenant.
- Good Credit – A good credit history can be a excellent indicator to whether or not a tenant will pay their rent consistently and on-time. You may not consider a tenant’s poor credit history as a deciding factor. However, before having them sign a lease, make sure you’ve run a thorough background check and have spoken with their references.
- Great Rental History – Good tenants will have a track record of great rental history. Look for inconsistency between rental periods and the duration of those periods. You’ll be able to see whether or not a tenant will be committed to renting from you for a longer period of time.