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If you’ve ever had to deal with unruly, rude, and unreliable tenants, you know the experience is unpleasant. Maybe you had to contact them about lease violations, late payments, or disruptive behavior. At worst, you’ve had the unfortunate job of evicting a few.
Naturally, you want to make sure future tenants will be good ones. You need renters who will respect the property, be considerate of their neighbors, and pay you on time. How do you find tenants that match these characteristics? Luckily, finding great tenants is easier than you think. Here are the best ways to do so:
1. Do Your Research
Before beginning your search for the best tenants, research the area surrounding your rental property. Consider the neighborhood income level and adjust the rent accordingly. You don’t want to set the price so high you constantly end up with vacant units. However, you don’t want the rent to be so low anyone can afford it.
Additionally, research the local jurisdiction and federal housing laws that may apply to you. Often, these prohibit discrimination against applicants based on their race, origin, religion, sex, or familial status. Draft advertisements accordingly.
2. Own Great Property
Great property tends to attract good tenants. Therefore, your rental should be in good condition and have decent curb appeal. Invest in landscaping, upgrading appliances, and making minor renovations to boost property value and gain some attention from potential renters.
Maintaining a clean, updated rental property will also signal to tenants to respect it. If their unit and neighborhood are in good condition upon their arrival, they’ll be more likely to leave it that way.
3. Advertise Wisely
While it is smart to list your property online, you never know what kinds of people are viewing it. If you want to find good tenants, post flyers in clean neighborhoods with low crime rates. You might also post ads to your personal social media accounts, so trustworthy friends will see them.
Moreover, ask family members and people in your social circle if they don’t mind talking up your rental to people they know. Offer a finder’s fee to motivate them to spread the word.
4. Set High Expectations
Once you place your advertisement, you’ll likely receive a slew of applications. However, many interested renters won’t meet your criteria.
Save yourself the trouble of sifting through hundreds of these unqualified applicants by stating your expectations upfront and in the rental listing. Include expectations regarding pets, smoking, and lease length to narrow your search and find tenants who meet your criteria.
5. Screen Potential Renters
After finding applicants who check all the boxes, conduct a comprehensive screening to ensure their integrity. Do a quick Facebook search to uncover their behavior and learn a bit more about them. You may find they lied about their smoking habits or have several pets in tow.
You should also run an official background check to see if they have an eviction history, poor credit, or a criminal record. This personal information will allow you to better determine whether they will be reliable renters. Additionally, speak with previous landlords to inquire about any details the report didn’t address.
Retaining Good Tenants
Of course, after putting in the effort to find good tenants, you’ll want to keep them around for as long as you can. The best way to retain them is to fulfill your obligation as a landlord. Promptly respond to maintenance requests, clean common areas frequently, and make sure all facilities are in good working condition. You should also continue to make upgrades and improvements to units as you see fit.
By investing in your property and communicating with renters, you’ll both attract and retain the best tenants.