Many investors and entrepreneurs have jumped on the opportunity to rent out property. Running rentals means a monthly supplemental income, and with the appreciation rates on land and low-cost homes available on the market, there’s plenty of capital to be gained. However, renting out a home or apartment is not without its fair share of vulnerabilities. One of the most cited concerns of new and seasoned landlords is the potential of renting out to nightmare tenants. Placing the wrong person in your personal property can result in thousands of dollars in damages and legal troubles that extend for months and even years.
Consider Your Parameters
Before you can find the perfect tenant for your home, you need to understand exactly what the perfect tenant means to you. Do you want a young professional? An established family looking for long-term rentals? A steady flow of student renters that will ensure your home is never left vacant? Knowing what you’re looking for will help you begin to advertise your place and attract the respectful, perfect client just right for your home.
Speak with a Real Estate Attorney
If you’re just getting started in the rental business industry, you’ll need to make sure your lease and other rental agreement documents are airtight to protect you from any legal issues in the future, even if that’s years down the road. Find an experienced real estate attorney from a site like lawyers.findlaw.com to make sure all of your ducks are in a row, and keep yourself, your family, and your personal assets protected should the worst happen and you end up with a nightmare tenant.
Hold an Open House
Instead of picking the first prospective tenants who make the trek out to see your place, hold an open house that will draw the attraction of many. Start advertising for your open house early and often, and make sure you have a close friend or business partner on-hand the day of to ensure you can give each candidate the attention they’re due. Allowing all of your potential renters to come at the same time will give you the benefit of competition. The more an individual sees someone else wanting a space, the more in turn they will. The competitive spirit can be used to your advantage, and an open house is the perfect way to make this happen.
Use the Right Screening Services
The most important weapon in your arsenal is your screening processes when it gets down to it. No matter what you do, always put any potential tenant through the ringer. Some landlords stop at credit checks, but in this day and age that doesn’t provide nearly enough information. If you want to make sure you’re putting the right person in your property, use a comprehensive screening service found on a site like www.mysmartmove.com. Companies like this can provide you with not only a person’s credit score, but also their eviction history, and any criminal offenses they have on their record. All of these facets are important when it comes to placing a potential renter, and this information could be the difference between a dream tenant and a nightmare.
Always Check References
When you ask your prospective tenants to provide references, make sure you’re following through and checking in with these individuals. When you speak to the people listed, follow your gut reaction when it comes to the information you learn. Always ask for a reference and number to a former landlord. They’re bound to be your best source of true information about the candidate as a tenant.
Require Renter’s Insurance
Protecting yourself completely means ensuring your property and its contents (including your tenant) are kept as safe as possible. Many landlords are electing to require their tenants buy their own renter’s insurance. Simple things like a stopped up toilet can cost turn into major bucks and in some cities it can be very difficult to get someone out there quickly. If you need to find a plumber in Los Angeles, for example, you might be waiting longer than you would in a small town. This will make sure all of their items have some extra coverage, as landlord policies generally don’t protect tenant valuables. As this must be renewed each year, make sure you provide a stipulation in your lease that they must show you proof of renewal each time, especially when extending their lease time with you.