11 Signs You've Met an All-Star Tenant
By Kasia Manolas for Rentalutions
Finding and screening tenants can be overwhelming. Once you list your property, tenant leads reach out to you, and at that point, it’s your responsibility to determine who will be right for your rental.
This post will help you identify tenants who pay rent on time and take care of your property. Here are 11 signs you’ve found all-star tenants:
1) All-Star Tenants Are Friendly
The landlord-tenant relationship requires communication: discussing rent price, signing a rental lease agreement, and handling maintenance, so it’s important that you get along with your tenants.
You’ll want to work with tenants who are friendly, polite, and respectful.
2) All-Star Tenants Agree to Your Screening Process
We recommend reaching out to prospective tenants for an initial phone call. In the initial call, it’s helpful to ask preliminary questions to see if they are a good fit:
- Do they smoke?
- Do they have a pet? What kind?
- Will they authorize a credit and background check?
Your tenant screening process should be thorough and consistent, which means you should be requiring all applicants to complete a credit and background check. If a tenant won’t authorize these reports, then it could be a sign he or she is hiding something.
3) All-Star Tenants Show up on Time to Your Property Showing
The next step is scheduling property showings with potential tenants.
There are several things to look for at the property showing, but one of the most important ones is whether they show up on time. Showing up on time indicates they’re responsible, respectful, and timely.
4) All-Star Tenants Are Interested in Your Property
As you’re showing your property, pay attention for signs that the tenant is truly interested. If he or she is engaging with questions, seems excited, and asks about next steps, then you can be certain that he or she is serious.
You want a tenant who is seriously interested in renting from you. That way, you won’t waste your time with tenants who don’t end up signing the lease.
5) All-Star Tenants Complete the Entire Rental Application
It’s important to require a rental application and make sure it’s filled out completely. The rental application provides:
- Contact information
- Rental history
- Prior landlords' contact information
- Employment history
- Employment contact information
- Answers to a questionnaire
With this information, you’ll be able to talk to their employer, prior landlords, and have documented answers, such as whether the tenant has a prior bankruptcy.
If a tenant isn’t willing to disclose this information, then you should consider moving forward with other candidates.
6) All-Star Tenants Verify Their Income
You can invite your tenants to apply online, which would allow them to upload and submit income verification with their applications. Tenants can verify their income by providing a W2 or a pay stub. If your tenant is active duty military, income will be easy to verify through military pay and BAH charts.
7) All-Star Tenants Earn Sufficient Income
You need income verification to know if they make enough income to afford your rental. The typical rule of thumb is for monthly income to be 3x the monthly rent price.
If your tenant doesn’t earn enough income to comfortably afford your rental, you can require he or she has a co-signer, or move forward with another applicant.
8) All-Star Tenants Are Responsible Employees
It’s important to verify that your tenant is stably employed and won’t be losing his or her job soon. That way, you have more security that your tenant will be making income throughout their tenancy.
Contacting a tenant’s employer will allow you to ask questions, confirm their salary, and find out how long they’ve worked there.
9) All-Star Tenants Have a History of Paying Rent on Time
Knowledge of a tenant’s rental history will help you determine if he or she will be a quality tenant in your rental.
You can reach out to their prior landlords and ask:
- Did the tenant pay rent on time?
- Did he or she take care of the property?
10) All-Star Tenants Have No History of Evictions
A prior eviction is a red flag. Before moving forward with a potential tenant, it’s crucial to know about their rental history.
We recommend completing a credit, background, and eviction history check.
11) All-Star Tenants Have Sufficient Credit Scores
Quality tenants make payments on time. You can usually determine how financially responsible someone is by checking their credit score. Scores range from 300 to 850, and it’s understood that the higher the credit score, the better. Detailed tenant credit reports also show you whether tenants are making payments on time or not.
Once you’ve found an all-star tenant, the next step is letting them know you’ve accepted their application and that you would like to move forward with signing a lease.
Author Bio: Rentalutions is the only end-to-end tenant software that helps landlords find tenants, screen tenants, sign leases, collect rent, and manage maintenance all in one place. Join the thousands of landlords across the U.S. that are already saving time managing their rental online.