Finding the right tenant in Middle Tennessee is a critical step in renting out your home. Many times do-it-yourself landlords fall into the trap of taking the first applicant who seems trustworthy and has money in hand to move in today. After all the work of getting the home rent-ready, advertising, and scheduling showings (many of which are frustrating no-shows), it’s tempting to be lured by someone who “shows you the money.” But there are several reasons why due diligence in researching potential tenants is the most important step in protecting your rental investment. Here are just a few ideas for help finding the right tenant in Middle Tennessee for your property.
Before taking tenant applications, you’ll need to learn more about ways to run credit and criminal background checks through third parties. Credit and background checks often cost around $25 per applicant. Once you have a company to run credit and criminal background checks, see whether the company has an application you can use; or search for free landlord applications online, and have your prospective tenants apply with your form.
It’s also a good idea to do these checks:
- Verify their identity by checking their ID and comparing to their application
- Verify their income with paychecks and/or bank statements
- Identify all the people who will be living in the home
- Identify any pets with breed, size, and color
Once you have the application filled out and signed, go ahead and send to the credit and criminal reporting agency. If you have to wait for that to process, go ahead and contact the prospective tenant’s employer and ask how long they’ve been employed there and the income.
Next, contact past landlords. It’s important to ask for 2-3 landlord references if possible, and to see if the most current landlord can elaborate on anything that might hint at an eviction that hasn’t shown up yet in records. Ask each former landlord:
- Did the tenant fulfill their lease?
- Were they ever late paying rent?
- Were they evicted or asked to leave?
- Would the landlord rent to them again?
If you put all of that information together and decide the prospective tenant qualifies, let them know they are approved and set a lease signing date.
However, if the fit is not right for things such as not enough rental history, bad credit, evictions, collections (especially for utility bills), or criminal activity, let the applicant know as soon as possible. If it has to do with something they didn’t realize was on their credit rating, it is helpful to give them the phone number to call to try to figure out the problem.
Finding the right tenant in Middle Tennessee for your investment property is time and money well spent in researching the application. To learn how we can help you in finding the right tenant in Middle Tennessee, contact Real Property Management Rental Solutions or give us a call at 615-900-4067.