How to Find Tenants for Rental Property
Once you get your criteria sorted out, here are some other factors that may help with your search.
1. Know where you should be advertising.
With the domination of the internet today, starting online makes more sense than advertising in the newspaper. Even on paid websites, your $100 listing can get you onto national websites where you'll have access to tenants that tend to have a better rental history. You'll probably want to stay off of the free sites, however, because many scammers have figured out that they can change your contact info, take a tenant's deposit, and then disappear.
2. Keep it clean.
Finding the best tenants means being able to keep your house nice and clean. It needs to be ready to show and be free of any pressing repair issues to get the best tenants. Many tenants who are going to be contacting you are in need of housing. With a same-day showing, you could have your vacancy filled in a matter of hours.
3. Have a comprehensive rental application.
Not only is the application the best screening tool that you can use to get the best tenants, but it is also where you might be able to make some extra money. Many jurisdictions allow for a non-refundable application fee to be charged to cover the background check. If someone doesn't want to pay the fee, then you've just eliminated a potentially problematic tenant. Make sure your application clearly shows your terms and conditions so you stay out of trouble.
4. Forget about doing an interview.
An interview with a potential tenant today is just asking for trouble. It opens you up to another area of potential litigation because someone might come away from the experience feeling like you're discriminating against them. Just because someone dresses poorly and smells like they haven't showered for a month doesn't mean they won't pay their rent on time.
5. Make renter's insurance a requirement.
A good renter's insurance policy covers damages that a tenant might cause to the property in addition to covering the tenant's belongings. It's usually less than $300 per year for a comprehensive policy. Make this part of the stipulations for renting and you'll have another automatic screening tool to use to get the best tenants.
6. Have clear standards that you ALWAYS follow.
Your gut feeling is going to get you into trouble. Don't get desperate and settle for a sub-par tenant because you've been losing 3 months of rental income. Stick to your guns, have clear standards that must be met, and eventually you get the best tenants possible in your rental property.
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