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Being A Landlord - 4 Tips For Evaluating Potential Tenants

April 14, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 141

Every new landlord has the same burning question: "How do I find suitable tenants?" The overwhelming fear behind this question is making the wrong choice, and getting stuck with nightmare tenants who do everything in their power to ruin your life. We have all heard the horror stories, and no one who has ever experienced this situation wants to repeat it, so here is a list of four things you can do to help screen potential renters.

1. Interview In Person - There is a lot to be said for "gut instincts", and most of the time your instincts are right. By meeting prospects face to face, you can gauge reactions, see how the prospective tenant acts towards other people, and how they carry themselves in general. There is a reason detectives prefer to interview people face to face rather than over the phone; it is much easier to get an accurate read on people when they are in the same room as you. By getting a first hand impression of potential renters, it becomes easier to make a decision on whether you want to work with them.

2. Follow Up - You should always include a section for references on your rental applications, and those sections should always be completely filled out. Any application that is not completely filled out should be placed on the bottom of the pile, because an incomplete application is a waste of your time. Once an application is completely filled out and submitted, you should Always verify the contents. Make sure that you call the references and conduct a pretty thorough check of the provided information. Any application that includes false information should be automatically disqualified. Most importantly, verify employment and past renting history with bosses and former landlords. This will give you another indication of the type of person your prospect is.

3. Express Your Expectations - During your interview with potential renters, you should clearly lay out your expectations and the rules that you expect to be followed.This lets the prospective renter know right up front what is expected of them, and can help them decide whether or not they can abide by those rules. Sometimes they will weed themselves out for you! Once you have verbalized your expectations, there should be no surprises later, so there should be relatively few problems. Provide a written copy of your expectations and house rules, etc., and you can save yourself a lot of headaches down the road.

4. Be Firm - In the course of interviewing potential tenants, you are going to hear a lot of stories. Some will be funny, some will be sad, and some will downright break your heart. No matter how moving a story is, it is important to remember that ultimately you are in charge, and a bad tenant can be hard to deal with or get rid of, so don't let emotion make your decision for you. You are the one who is going to have to collect rent, make repairs, and deal with complaints, so you should make your decision based on reliability and what is going to make life easier for you, and not the other way around!

While there is no foolproof way to ensure that you will always be renting to model tenants, these tips can take some of the guesswork out of it. By taking a little extra time in the beginning to meet prospects and doing some legwork to verify information, you can save yourself a world of trouble in the long run. Happy Renting!

Jonathan James is the proprietor of, providing tips and strategies for making money from rental properties. To learn more about the realities of owning rental property, go to now!

Source: EzineArticles
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