Last Updated: August 19, 2022
Do you want to be a successful landlord who keeps good tenants? It’s important to protect your property investment without having it remain vacant for too long. While you might be tempted to start renting to the first applicant you talk to, accepting the wrong tenant can lead to future expenses and time-consuming problems.
In this guide, our experts will give you tips on how to find good tenants and be a great landlord while clarifying any questions or uncertainties.
How to Be a Good Landlord
If you’re new to the rental process and are looking to rent your house without an agent, it’s important to consider traits that make a good landlord, like being able to manage your rental property while considering your tenants’ needs. Here are a few important characteristics a good landlord should have:
- Be helpful and assist your tenant with getting adjusted to the area, especially if they’re new to the city or state
- Give them all the documents they need to change their address
- Follow the guidelines of your lease agreement when dealing with issues; understand the difference between a rental agreement and a lease and which one your tenant falls under
- Go through the lease or rental agreement with them so that you’re on the same page
- Keep the relationship professional
- Understand the types of tenants and be accessible to answer any questions
- Be organized and store documents and other communications for future reference
- Respect your tenants’ privacy and don’t show up unannounced
- Be transparent about any changes or issues you have
- Follow the Fair Housing Act rules and regulations
- Don’t overcharge rent; follow our simple guide on calculating the correct rent amount before settling
- Fix repairs and other maintenance requests promptly
|DID YOU KNOW: 45% of American landlords manage their own properties; 6% of rental properties remain vacant.|
How to Find Good Tenants
Accepting the wrong tenants can have numerous disadvantages, like damage and money. There are ways to minimize dealing with risky tenants by only accepting those you know will take care of your place.
Here are a few tips on how to find tenants for your property:
Tip 1: Do Research
Familiarize yourself with local housing and tenancy laws, as well as federal and state laws to ensure you meet regulations. Steer clear of discriminating against certain applicants; instead, use a tenant screening process before judging.
Research the market value of properties in the same area to also get a rental figure.
Tip 2: Advertise
To find a tenant in today’s world, you can skip flyers and advertise online. Add basic details, photos, and contact information to your listing and advertise through online platforms that rent homes. For further reach, post your advert onto social media pages for property rentals in your area – the right tenants are bound to come across.
Tip 3: Set Clear Expectations
As a landlord, be very clear about what your expectations are. This includes things like:
- Whether pets are allowed or not
- Whether the unit allows smoking
- The exact rental period
Sharing deal breakers upfront will help you find tenants that are suitable by avoiding answering the same questions constantly.
Tip 4: Background Check
Even though they aren’t required, it’s still a good idea to do a tenant screening for any applicants. Screening companies can help you understand what procedures and steps are involved in running a background check on a tenant. An accurate background check will give you valuable data on someone’s criminal record and references.
Tip: If your prospective tenant is a pet owner, you can also conduct pet screening to avoid the unpleasantries of having a good tenant with a naughty pet.
|DID YOU KNOW: Evicting a tenant can cost up to $3,500 and take about four weeks.|
What Is a Good Tenant?
So, what makes a good tenant? Good tenants aren’t based on personality; they’re more objective facts. These include the following:
Steady Monthly Income
Tenants need to provide proof of steady income that shows that they can afford the rent. Whether the tenant is self-employed or employed by someone else doesn’t matter; you can request proof of monthly income regardless of occupation.
Does the tenant have an excellent track record of paying bills and previous landlords on time? A good tenant pays their rent on time or even before the due date.
Good Credit Score
Landlords looking for tenants should consider an applicants’ credit score, as this figure is usually an indication of their financial management skills.
Landlords can request references from an applicant. This can let you know what behavior they exhibit regarding attitudes towards neighbors, tenant agreements, and payments.
No Criminal Records or History of Evictions
When you screen a potential tenant, there is a lot of valuable background information you’ll get access to that some wouldn’t share upfront. You can learn more about what information appears on a tenant’s background check in our guide.
|DID YOU KNOW: Only 4% of tenants rent because they can’t afford to buy their own home, while 23.4% of tenants rent because it is more convenient.|
|Finding tenants requires some research, advertising correctly, doing background screenings, and being upfront about expectations.|
|Being a good landlord will help you retain tenants|
|Landlords should price their properties and approve tenants fairly by adhering to the Federal Anti-Discrimination Law, Federal Housing Law, and FCRA.|
|The best way to find tenants for your rental property is by advertising online.|
|A good tenant has a steady monthly income, solid references, and a healthy credit score.|
Ten Tips for Finding Good Tenants
Finding the right tenant for your property is easier said than done; landlords have to put in the legwork to find the best tenants. Here are expert tips on how to find a good tenant:
Understand Federal and State Laws
First and foremost, understand what constitutes illegal discrimination. Read through the Fair Housing Act and conform to its standards to find the best renters out there. This will also give you an indication of what you can legally do to shorten your list of applicants.
One way you can check someone’s rental history is by asking for references, as references from an applicant’s previous landlords can give you a clear indication of what kind of renter they are. Make sure you check the credibility of the reference by calling or emailing.
Run Background Checks
How to find a good renter also works by doing a background check on a tenant; remember that an applicant needs to give consent first. Screening companies can guide you through the process of correctly screening tenants to find whatever data you are looking for. Data usually includes criminal history, any previous evictions, and a credit check.
Advertise in the Right Places
Take a modern approach and advertise your property online with residential property managers. You might need to pay a small fee first, but they’ll allow your listing to be seen by a larger audience. If you want to broaden your search more, consider putting up ads in local laundromats, grocery stores, or business buildings – even local newspapers and classifieds!
Word Your Listing Correctly
If you’re wondering how to find renters for your house, starting with the right kind of advert is important. Adding general but essential information will avoid questions from renters who might not even be interested in what you have to offer. Add information like:
- Neighborhood and location
- Number of bathrooms and bedrooms
- Available parking
- Garage size
- Extra amenities or special features
- Whether it’s pet friendly or not
- Rent amount
- Smoking or non-smoking allowed
You’ll get fewer applications, but all applicants will know exactly what you have to offer and expect.
Use a Rental Application
A rental application is a document that can be filled in by applicants when an owner is looking for tenants. This usually includes the following:
- Personal and contact details
- Social security number
- Previous address
- Proof of monthly income
- Others that will be living on the property
- References from previous landlords or employers
- Employer details and job title
In some states, you can use a non-refundable application fee. This ensures that the applicant is serious about looking for a property and won’t waste your time.
Require Renters Insurance
After you’ve gone through the process on how to find a tenant and have signed the lease, inform your new tenants that you need proof of renters insurance when they move in. This insurance will ensure that your tenants’ belongings are covered as well as any damages that they might cause.
Do Your Own Background Search
Before going through the screening process, do a bit of your own digging. Check the applicant’s public social media platforms to see whether the information that they provided is credible. People who make the best tenants are usually honest; their social media information will correlate with what they wrote in their application.
Get a Deposit Before Their Move-in Date
Make sure that your tenants’ deposit check clears before they start moving in. You mustn’t halt advertising your property on an empty promise. The lease should be signed and the deposit should reflect in your account before you remove your listing.
Lower quality tenants will cost you in the long run; it’s best to be patient and wait then take the first best. When you have two great options, consider all of our tips to decide how to pick between two tenants. If you’re unsure which applicant to pick, you can arrange a meeting and interview applicants to make your final decision.
It’s okay to be picky when choosing tenants carefully. In the end, you want a good and respectful relationship with a tenant that can last long-term.
|DID YOU KNOW: 10.3% of landlords never perform a credit check! An additional 16% don’t run a criminal background check either.|
Successful landlords go through a thorough screening process before choosing a tenant. This process includes a background check, advertising, and being transparent about what your property offers. Picking the right tenant for your property ensures that it’ll be taken care of and that you won’t incur any damage in the future. Good luck!
Landlords need to follow the Fair Housing Act and choose tenants based on facts. Factors like criminal history and payment history play a big role in whether a landlord will choose an applicant or not.
Landlords can find tenants quickly when they advertise correctly and on the right platforms. Add information about the property with photos on property management sites, social media platforms, or newspapers to speed up your search.
It can be hard, but there are tips and tricks that landlords can follow to find good renters. If you follow our expert tips on how to find good tenants, you’ll get in contact with a good tenant in no time.