Did you know that over one-third of households in the United States are rentals? If you are a property manager or landlord, chances are that you receive a good number of applicants every time you have an opening.
Have you ever wondered how you can screen out bad tenants during the application process or after they move in? Here is a handy list of things to look for so you can avoid permanent damage to your property or reputation.
1. Bad Credit
Not everyone who has bad credit makes a bad tenant, but a low credit score can indicate late payments or irresponsible money management.
For peace of mind, if you find a good person that has a bad credit score, you can increase their security deposit. You can also have them find a co-signer for their lease so that you will always get paid.
2. Many Recent Moves
If the tenant’s rental history has a lot of recent moves, then it may be because they are bad renters. This is one of the most frustrating landlord problems because it means you will have to waste time and money opening the property back up again.
Ask them in the interview or application why they have a lot of moves. They may be able to give a good explanation for the spotty history.
3. Late Payments
If you decide to clear potential renters during the tenant screening process, pay attention to if and when they pay their application fees. If they dawdle with paying a fee or deposit, it does not bode well for future on-time payments.
Late payments are one of the easiest reasons that you can evict a tenant. This article details more ways that you can replace bad renters with good ones.
4. Refusal to Provide References
On your rental application, you should always ask for a handful of references. These can be old roommates, or preferably past landlords, who can give a good character assessment of the tenant.
If they can’t provide references, it means that they either have no rental history, or they do not want you to find out about warning signs they will not be an ideal tenant.
5. Ignoring Rules
Make sure that you note your rules clearly on the lease agreement and go over them verbally with the applicant during the tenant screening process. Pay attention to see if they question any rules or want an exception.
For example, if you have a policy of no pets, they may want to push back and see if they can pay pet rent.
Avoid Bad Tenants
If you are a landlord or property manager, you should be able to weed out potentially bad tenants quickly. With these tips, you can ensure that your tenants are responsible and upstanding people.
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