Tenant Ticklist: How to Know If You’re Renting to the Right People

Finding a new tenant can be one of the most expensive and time-consuming tasks a landlord faces. It can cost two or three times the monthly rental charge, which is not insignificant. You also have to hope that you choose remnants that are going to pay their rent, pay their rent on time, and not destroy the property while they are there.

Here, we look at some tips to help you screen potential tenants and make sure that you are renting your property to the right people.

Who Is Your Ideal Tenant?

The first step in locating your ideal tenant is determining who that ideal tenant is. After all, you have to know who you are looking for in order to find them. Before you even think about listing your property on rental sites, you need to draw up your non-negotiables. These may include:

  • A particular income bracket – perhaps you want them to earn 3 x the monthly rental costs
  • A good credit score or at least meet a minimum requirement
  • The number of people living in the property
  • Whether you will allow pets or children in the property

Then, in your rental listing, be very clear about these requirements. It may even be beneficial to create a section in your listing marked “Requirements” and list any of yours in detail. This will help you filter out any potential tenants who are unqualified to rent your property. A tenant planning service can also help you with this.

Screen Your Tenants Before They Even Come to View the Property

Pre-screen potential tenants as soon as they contact you before scheduling a viewing.  Simply ask them to confirm that they meet your specifications. If they do, it’s time to set up a viewing. If a tenant does not meet your criteria, inform them that this is not the right property for them.

You do not need to obtain a tenant credit report, get references or verify their income at this point.  For the time being, all you need to do is send a clear signal that you will do so once they apply, and trust that they will not waste their time on a property for which they are ineligible.

Arrange a Viewing

Once you are happy that they are likely to pass the checks, you may want to show them around the home. The viewing is for you as much as it is for the tenant. This is your chance to meet the person you will be renting to for the foreseeable future, so it is important to make sure that a positive relationship is possible.

Be completely honest about the property during the viewing. If there are any factors that may be an area of tension for tenants, such as maintenance issues, noisy neighbors, and so on, it is critical to be upfront about them. If the viewer becomes a tenant, they will discover the problems regardless. The last thing you want is to catch them off guard and lose them quickly.