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4 Steps for Secure Better Tenants…And What To Do When It Goes Bad

Every landlord desires to gain stable long-term tenants that they know can be relied upon to pay appropriately, behave respectfully, and not be problematic. However, without careful planning and doing your homework, this may feel like a pipe dream. By approaching applications and listings with diligence and attentiveness, finding stable tenants may be easier than you think.

Audience-Driven Listings

A rental listing devoid of photo or details anyone in search of a new home would appreciate is not going to do you any favours. Additionally, you need to market the property towards your intended audience to better filter out undesirables. Always be truthful and accurate, but word the listing in a way that could entice your ideal tenants further. Try to consider things from their perspective, including high quality photos and/or videos as well as accurate contact information.

Face-to-Face Interviews

It’s important to take the time to meet with and interview each applicant to get a sense of how they behave and interact with you as their potential landlord. Some may put on a show and act in an attempt to convince you, and it’s key that you carefully analyze their body and eye language, as well as how they communicate. Try to come up with professional and relevant “surprise” questions that catch them off-guard to see how they react. Remember, you want them to essentially live and interact with you for several years, and it’s critical to see if everyone is willing to respect one another.

Request References

It’s best to request at least three to five solid and appropriate references — specifically other landlords — that you can then consult, for it may prove difficult to reach everyone on the list. When speaking with each reference, be sure to ask questions that aim to prove whether or not the applicant is the right fit, such as if they are clean, punctual with bill and rent payments, and if they’ve lived for several years or more in their current home.

Credit and Employment Record Checks

If you don’t perform a comprehensive credit and employment record check on any prospective tenants, then you’re dancing in a veritable minefield of trouble. If a client proves incapable of remaining financially responsible and reliable and has a string of red flags on their profile, then skip right over them for those who prove to be professional, timely, and respectful of terms.

If Things Go Sour…

Combined with your carrying out responsibilities and seeing to the needs of residents professionally, these steps will help to ensure a better likelihood of gaining a stable tenant. But, disputes may still arise regardless. In that case, it can be helpful to seek independent landlord legal advice to rectify any issues and provide valuable insight with your protection in mind.

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