With every job comes its own set of stresses and being a landlord is no different
. Some people buy a rental property as an investment because they believe all they'll need to do is to find a tenant and the rest will just fall into place. They don't realize just how complicated the business can get if you're not prepared. Screening a tenant doesn't just mean that you sit down, have a chat, and react to what you see in front of you. There's so much more than comes with it than that. First you have to properly advertise the property so that you can stir interest. That means making sure the property is in top order and taking pictures that show off all the best parts. Then you'll need to hop online and choose which sites you'd like to push that listing out to. Once people start showing interest comes the screening process.
A good screening process includes a credit and criminal check at the very least. Eviction checks are often a good idea. You should follow up with prior landlords and professional references to check employment. You'll want to make sure that you are up-to-date on the Federal Housing Laws so that you don't risk the appearance of discrimination. Once you have chosen an applicant and they become a tenant you will need to make sure that they are aware of everything that is expected. A welcome packet is a great way to handle this and allows you to detail out some of the more important rules. Rent is due on this day, late fees are charged on this day, and the eviction process is begun on this day if nothing has been paid. One way to avoid difficult tenants that try to manipulate you and walk over you is to stand by those rules set forth at the beginning. If you're constantly giving and making exceptions it will only set a pattern for them and they'll continue to cause trouble. They may have the most believable sob story you've ever heard, but you need to pay the bills for the property. Remember, if they don't pay you, you can't pay the mortgage.
You'll make mistakes along the way, but always remember to learn from them. Like in any job you'll move forward and with experience get better.