Renting is popular for those new to an area or saving for their own property. As a landlord, a good tenant is an asset and avoids problems such as non-payment, trashing a property and illegal activity. Landlords should take steps to avoid approving an application from a "tenant from hell." Here are some tips for finding good tenants:

Do Your Homework
Before your apartment is finished and ready to let, it is worth planning that advertisement to reflect the type of client you want. State clearly that references will be needed and that you are looking for a professional person as a tenant. None of this is foolproof, as a professional tenant can turn out to be a problem and someone on welfare benefits can be a model resident. If you plan to rent the property through an agent, then check these people out too. Make sure they are creditworthy, have insurance, and will check up on your property regularly. Consider the pros and cons of having pets in the property as some well trained animals can come with a reliable tenant.

Value your Tenant
A clean and fresh looking properties attracts conscientious tenants who are likely to take care of the property. Address repair issues promptly. Ensure the apartment looks inviting and is spotlessly clean. Make sure everything is in working order and that there are maintenance checks included in the lease, depending on state and local laws. Take photos to document the condition of the rental unit before a tenant moves in so that you can promptly identify damage and determine who is responsible for it.

Meet the Prospective Tenant
Meeting any prospective tenant is vital. You'll get a good look at them and be able to ask any questions as you show them around. Ask them questions about what they do and how long they plan to stay in town. Try and find out why they are moving as this might give you a few clues as to how reliable they might be.
It's always helpful to ask the prospective tenant for references, such as colleagues, family members, or even friends -- but primarily, the tenant's current landlord. These types of reference can help you get a more accurate gauge on what the tenant is like and if they will be reliable. The current landlord may simply be looking to move their tenant on and not disclose any problems. Don't forget to check the phone numbers or addresses you have been given correspond to the people writing a reference to avoid falsified testimonies. You'll also need to check any landlord regulations and legislation in your area and stick to the rules.

Take it Easy
After approving an application, ask the tenant for the first month's rent and a security deposit. The security deposit is refundable after the tenant moves out, providing that the rental unit is in good condition. One strategy is to take out a short term lease at first so you can be sure that the tenant is suited to your property and can be removed if there are problems. Remember that short term leases risk having to continually find new tenants so a longer one can be better for your property.
Get to know the neighbors in the area where you are renting out an apartment so that if there are problems, they can alert you quickly. Drive by the property occasionally to see how it looks. Take a few precautions and do the checks before renting a property and you have every chance of securing a model tenant for your apartment. Finally, remember that most tenants are good and honest people and seeing the positive side of a tenant will get that apartment rented out quickly.

POSTED January 05 2015 11:17 AM

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