I hear countless owners talk about how tenants have trashed their rental properties. And I’ve had it happen to me as well. So what do you do to prevent this from happening?
There are several things you can do BEFORE you allow these potential slobs into your rental properties. I’ve talked about a few of them before on this blog but I thought this subject was worth devoting an entire piece to it. I got burned several times early on … Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years:
- What do they look like, physically? Are they clean? Have their clothes been washed or are they a filthy, wrinkled mess?
- What about the car they drive? Is it well maintained, inside and out?
- Do they have children? If so, are they clean, well-behaved?
- Where do they live? Drive by, first, and assess the outside. Have they been attentive to it?
- Plan a visit to that home where they live, if possible. (You could stop by to pick up the application.) Is it a mess inside? Are there countless neighbors, friends, cousins, little kids running around? If so, that’s a total red flag.
- Are they living with relatives or friends? If so, they may have been evicted recently. Run a credit check on them. (I use National Tenant Network. For $20, you can run credit, criminal history, etc. It’s an excellent resource.)
- Does the applicant “bad mouth” the current landlord? If so, you may be the next victim of that behavior.
- Does the applicant have a bad attitude in general? If so, you can deny tenancy based on that issue.
Renting to a slob who doesn’t take care of your rental will end up costing you a ton of money down the road.You can save yourself a lot of headaches by following these simple quidelines BEFORE you accept a tenant.
Don’t be in such a rush to fill that vacancy … attention to detail will save you — emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially. It’s worth it to take your time when you look at prospective tenants.
Otherwise, you may learn the hard way … like I did!
Onward and upward! 🙂