A lot of paperwork is involved when screening new candidates to rent your property, but the top qualities of a good tenant won’t all fit in one file. Do your due diligence, but keep your eyes open for the more intangible pros and cons of a potential renter as well.
It’s not nitpicking; it’s just taking note of the little things. If an applicant missed a scheduled phone interview and ran in late (and breathless) to the showing, this may indicate an unfortunate pattern. Being late with the rent could be a part of that pattern. If there are delays with other steps in the process, such as sending you certain documents, you may want to consider another candidate.
A credit report won’t give you the whole picture, but it may reveal more than numbers if you squint a little. The candidate’s debts, monthly payment habits, financial mishaps, and rental history all add up to a fairly accurate portrait. Be open to a potential renter if they want to elaborate on situations but maintain a healthy skepticism throughout the process.
An applicant who lists too many prior addresses may make you wary, as this could indicate that the applicant is restless and may want to move back out again sooner, rather than later. An eclectic, often-changing job history may be a sign of a tenant who’s ambitiously looking for a better position. Then again, it may also be a sign of a “free spirit” who believes that the economy is a conspiracy. Only you can decide what to do with that information.
Things can always change, but if a candidate has a solid plan that could indicate a long-term lease, you should keep them on your shortlist. The longer a renter wants to live in your property, the more invested they’ll be in taking good care of it.
If a potential tenant has questions for you, it’s a good possibility that they are considering the lease as thoughtfully as you are. If they want to know more about you, which may include how long you’ve been a landlord, how often you’re on call, or even your favorite color, it’s a sign of healthy communication. They’re more likely to take both you and the property seriously.
No matter where you are in the country, the top qualities of a good tenant are the same. If you’re looking for rental property management in Winter Park, FL, we can help you find the most promising local candidates to rent your unit. R. Russell Properties has managed more than 7,000 homes over more than four decades in Central Florida and can help you navigate the trickier aspects of being a landlord. Contact us for more information. We look forward to working with you!