Many landlords choose to manage their property themselves; and there’s nothing wrong with that since most tenants are respectful and responsible people. But it only takes one bad tenant to turn your experience of being a landlord into a nightmare.
So how can you avoid bad tenants? While there is no way to guarantee 100% that you will never run into problems with the people that you rent your property to, however, there are some strategies that can drastically increase your chances of attracting good tenants while avoiding the bad.
Here are a few of our top tips for landlords:
- Start with your ad
If you can get bad tenants to weed themselves out, then why wouldn’t you? When you place an ad for your rental, be sure to state that you will be doing background and credit checks. Doing so will help you attract a higher number of qualified tenants.
- Conduct a proper credit check
Checking a potential tenant’s credit is easy and inexpensive. It only costs about $20 to have it done with TransUnion or Equifax. Alternatively, you could become a member of the Ontario Landlords Association and be able to get credit checks done for even less.
- Check references
When checking references, it is not enough to call your prospect’s current landlord since it’s possible they will give a good review just to get rid of the tenant. See if you can call previous landlords. Also, you will want to try and make sure that the person you are speaking to really is the landlord and not a friend or family member of the tenant. Ask them for the address and postal code of where the tenant was living or other questions that a “fake” landlord would have difficulty answering.
- Be a social media troll
Isn’t the Internet a wonderful thing? Facebook can tell you whether your prospective tenant has a dog and Linkedin can tell you whether they have a job. Does the information on a prospective tenant’s social media profile match with what they told you on their application?
- Watch for red flags in your face to face interview
If your prospective tenant is not being honest with you, they may give off some red flags during their interview. These can include not looking at you when they answer questions, giving inconsistent answers, fidgeting or changing the subject.
Remember in the interview to ask open ended questions such as “tell me about yourself” to gain insight into the kind of person that you are considering renting to.
- If possible, interview the tenant in their current rental
If you are able to interview the tenant where they currently live, then you will be able to see how they treat the property. If pets are a concern, you may also be able to notice telltale signs such as pet hair or odour which would let you know if they own a pet.
Being a landlord can be a great experience if you have good tenants. Just remember to do your research and if you notice a red flag, do not ignore it…And if you would like a little extra help in finding some great tenants for your rental property, call the team at Adelson & Weiss today.