Dave Says: Finding reliable, trustworthy tenants
I’m a landlord, and I own a few houses and duplexes around town. Recently, I made the mistake of renting to some tenants who were not respectful of my property. Do you have any tips for selecting good renters?
In my experience, most landlords simply aren’t thorough enough with the screening process when it comes to potential tenants. It’s difficult to get to know someone — especially in this kind of situation — without spending some face-to-face time with them and digging into their backgrounds a little.
I have several rental properties, so here are a few tips that have served me well over the years. Always require a big deposit up front. In addition, pull a credit bureau report on prospective renters. I also drive by the place they’re currently living to see how they take care of things. To me, this is a great indication of how responsible they are, and how they might treat my property. Finally, get proof they’ve regularly made past rental payments on time.
It’s a leap of faith, to an extent, any time you sign an agreement with a new tenant. But there are things you can do to make a more informed decision as to whom you’re doing business with!