If you’re a property investor, you’ll want to make decisions that give you a competitive advantage and allow you to make the most out of your rental property. Maintaining the property in good condition, ensuring compliance with all laws and regulations, and meeting tenant demands quickly are all things you, as a landlord, should do.
With so much responsibility and work as a landlord, it may be tempting to almost skip over the tenant screening process entirely once you've gained interest from your property listing. To cut down on vacancies, you may be inclined to let the first tenant to apply live in your rental home.
The quality of tenants, however, is not a decision to take lightly. It can determine the success of your investment in New Braunfels real estate. So, what should a landlord look out for in a potential tenant?
Our team at Limestone Country Properties—a leading property management company in the region—breaks down basic information that landlords need to properly screen potential renters. Rely on us to guide you smoothly through every step of managing your rental property.
What are You Looking for in a Tenant?
Before we go into the specifics of the ideal tenant for your rentals, you should ask yourself what qualities you are looking for in a potential renter. You should have an idea of the type of renter you would like.
From our experience, a quality tenant has a few attributes or qualities:
- Ability to pay the rent in full and on time
- Employment stability
- A clean criminal history
- Responsible in their undertakings; this translates to the maintenance of the property and relation with neighbors
The above characteristics are not a comprehensive list, but they should guide you and give you an idea of the type of qualities you may want to add to your own list. If you can find a tenant with the above attributes, this will probably translate to a stable flow of rental income, lower maintenance costs, and viable investment in real estate.
The complexity, resources, and time spent screening a tenant are essential to finding high quality tenants for your rental property. Landlords must identify measures that they can implement to reduce the time spent while not compromising on the quality of the tenant. This is where pre-screening comes in.
Some pre-screening measures that have worked for our team in the past include:
- Adding in some requirements in the property listing
- Asking vital questions during the first meeting
- Have a face-to-face meet during the property showcase
From your inquiry and conversation, an unqualified tenant will stand out from the list of potential renters. By emphasizing the quality of tenants you wish, there’s a higher chance that unqualified tenants don’t even apply, refining your search. You want high qaulity tenants that have the potential of turning into long-term tenants.
The Rental Application
You must have a rental application when seeking to place a tenant in your rental space. Your rental application should be customized to meet your unique financial and property needs.
Here are some pointers for you to use for your New Braunfels rental property:
- Contact information. This includes telephone number, email address and current address
- Residence. This includes the current and prior residence addresses. They should also include information about the previous landlords and their contact information
- Current and past employment history
- Authorization from the tenant to perform background and credit checks
Keep an eye out for incomplete rental applications as they can be a sign of unqualified tenants. The rental application should be completed in full unless there is a viable reason for them not to. This reason should be explicitly stated.
Employment and Income Checks
An employment check is essential to determine whether the tenant can meet the financial obligation of paying rent. In addition, it verifies whether the tenant is honest and truthful about their past. Some crafty tenants will submit fake references in the form of friends and acquaintances.
As a rule of thumb in the property management industry, the level of income of the tenant should be three times that of the rent price.
However, depending on unique circumstances, you might be willing to accept a tenant who doesn’t meet this criterion, like a tenant who has been promised a promotion in a few months. Of course, you should verify this before accepting the applicant as a tenant.
Rental History Check
From the information provided in the rental application, you should contact the current and prior landlords. As we mentioned earlier, an unqualified tenant may provide you with fake references. You can get around this by asking questions that only a landlord would be able to answer.
The conversation with the landlord(s) gives you perspective on the type of tenant you’re dealing with. You can ask if the tenant pays their rent on time, how they relate with other tenants, and also if they maintain the property. In addition, you should check for an eviction history.
Limestone Country Properties has the tools and resources to carry out the complex tenant screening process described above. In addition, we have a network of contracts that provides verifiable and reliable information on the character of potential tenants.
Our team guarantees that the shortlist we provide for you to choose from contains only the best tenants in New Braunfels.
For the background check, the team at Limestone Country Properties looks into:
- Credit score
- Sex offender history
- Criminal history
- Social security verification
Communication of Acceptance
After following the details described, you should have narrowed down on the best applicant for your rental property. The next step is to communicate to the tenant and send them a copy of the lease agreement for them to peruse.
It’s best that you communicate to other potential tenants that you have rejected their application. The basis of the rejection should meet the provisions in the Fair Housing Laws. As a landlord, you cannot deny a tenant housing based on their age, sex, ethnicity, race, religious affiliations etc.
Find the Best Tenants for Your New Braunfels Rental Property
Few landlords have the experience, skills, and resources to properly and comprehensively screen a potential tenant. Take advantage of our experience as the premium property management company in the New Braunfels area by getting in touch with Limestone Country Properties today.
It's our mission to foster good relationships and to provide stability for your investment. Through our tried and proven approaches, we can guarantee you the best tenants that New Braunfels has to offer.
Contact us today and request a quote for our property management services.