Tenant and Rental Application Tips: Finding the Perfect Tenant

Tenant and Rental Application Tips: Finding the Perfect Tenant

Each year, one million renters face eviction in the United States. Some fall behind on rent, while others simply fail to follow other aspects of their lease agreement.

This creates a headache for the landlord and the process may even cost them money. If you own rental properties as an investment, you want to make sure to find the most suitable tenant.

How? Read on to learn how to use the rental application in your favor.

Obey the Law

While you should look for a great tenant, you cannot discriminate. Using bias to choose who will live on your property could potentially cause legal problems for you.

The Federal Housing Act prohibits you from denying renters based on:

  • Sex
  • Disability
  • Race
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Children

While federal laws do not protect gay or lesbian couples from discrimination, some state laws do. These laws ensure that everybody gets an equal opportunity to housing, and protects minority groups. The best way to offer fair housing while protecting yourself legally is to look at whether or not they would make a good tenant based on fact and not bias.

Run a Credit Check

Credit history can help you gauge whether or not this person will pay their rent on time. It looks at their past and current debt status and whether or not they tend to pay bills on time. 

If a renter owes a lot of money and historically makes late payments, they may also skip out on the rent. Do not learn this important lesson the hard way. But, sometimes good people come with a bad no-credit history or a bad one with a story behind it. In these cases, you can allow a cosigner with great credit to take responsibility for the rental agreement. 

Look at Current Income

Good credit means very little when a person loses their current source of income. Make sure this person currently makes enough money to cover their bills each month before signing a lease.

On the tenant application, require them to show proof of income. Ask for at least 3 months of pay stubs so you can see consistency.

Check Rental History

Property management requires enough effort with the best tenants. You do not want to allow somebody in who will not take care of your rental. 

Look into their rental history to get an idea of how they are as tenants. Ask their past landlords how they left their last apartment. 

Also find out why they left, to see if they break rules often. This will also give you an idea of how long they might stay in your place and when they may leave you searching for another tenant. Choose tenants who lasted a long time in their previous places.

Create a Solid Rental Application

Create a rental application that asks all of the important questions. Check references and choose the best tenant based on the facts you find. This will help you get somebody who takes care of your property and lasts there.

Looking for help with managing your rental properties? Contact us today!

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