Marketing your property for a new tenant is something that every landlord eventually has to face. You receive that letter (either good or bad) that your tenant will no longer be staying in your property and that it's time to find a new one. You'll want to jump into action as quickly as possible. Don't wait around for this or you may lose money if the property is vacant for any length of time.
While tenant screening is one of the best ways to hedge against that, the process starts with marketing. Reaching out to a wide audience will help to bring in more applicants, giving you a broader pool to choose from. Once you've figured out where you want to list the property and have it up, you'll start to receive applications. That's when the real work begins. It's time to sort through, one by one, each application you receive and handle them each appropriately. Tenant screenings should always be run on anyone that is seriously applying so that you don't risk opening up your property to tenants willing to vandalize it or misuse it in any fashion. Every landlord wants to land a solid tenant that pays on time, alerts them when repairs need to be made, and lives in peace. The best way to find this fantastic tenant is to preform your due diligence, and part of that is checking their references.
Asking for landlord references is a smart approach, though you'll need to be careful. While it would be nice if all applicants were open and honest with you, you know that they won't be. If they were, there'd be no reason to check their references at all. Make sure that you're receiving the prior landlord or property manager's number and not a friend's that is posing as one to provide you with only a glowing review. If it's a company you can look them up online, and if it's an individual you should be able to look up the ownership documents online to see that their name is attached.
Calling a couple of landlords back is a good practice so that you make sure to get a well rounded view. If you limit yourself only to the current landlord you risk the chance of not receiving an entirely honest response. Some landlords are afraid to be honest, potentially opening themselves up to lawsuits if their out-going tenants do not receive a good recommendation and therefore lose the opportunity to rent where they wish to. Other landlords may simply be trying to get a bad tenant out of their property and may be less than honest with you to do so.
If you're in landlording business long enough, you're certain to get one of these calls yourself. You'll want to be just as careful on how you handle the situation as any other landlord. If you'd like tips on how to handle these calls, you may read more more here.
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