Once you’ve purchased your Raleigh investment property, signed all the paperwork, and made all the renovations and touch-ups you desire, you’re doubtlessly eager to start filling up rooms with tenants. However, don’t let your enthusiasm cloud your vision. Taking the time to find responsible, respectful, gainfully-employed tenants will save you a lot of headache and money in the long run, even if it means you have to sacrifice a few rent checks now. Below are the 3 most important tenant screening tips to follow, from our Raleigh property management team.
An application seems like a pretty basic no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at the number of property owners who forgo this simple step. Make no mistake: ex-tenants with troubled rental histories are out there, looking for a new place that won’t thoroughly investigate their past. An ideal candidate should have no issue with submitting an application and waiting for approval.
The best way to gain insight into a potential renter’s payment habits is to review their credit activity over the past seven years. Even if a prospective tenant has a strong credit score right now, they may still have missed payments on a previous property. Of course, making a mistake in the past shouldn’t exclude someone from moving forward—but that’s a decision you need to weigh with full understanding of the risks involved.
Again, this is another basic protocol that shouldn’t even bear mentioning, but again, we hear of so many property owners in our industry who forgo it! No matter how nice a prospective tenant seems or what their story is, it’s important to always run both a background check and criminal record check on them. Again, you don’t have to scrap an application for someone who has simply made a mistake or two in the past—but you do need to be fully informed of what you’re getting into.
Most property managers who forgo these three tips aren’t stupid—they’re simply pressed for time, and don’t have the resources to devote to proper tenant screening. If this description applies to you, consider working with a Raleigh property manager who can handle tenant screening and other tasks for you. A bad tenant can easily cost a property owner thousands of dollars in damages, legal fees, and other costs, so having a good property manager on your side is well worth the investment! To learn more about us and what we do, please click here.
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