As a landlord, you want to find the best renters possible. Whether you own a duplex, fourplex, or other income property, it’s important to make sure that the people you rent to will take care of your property, pay their rent on time, and be good neighbors. So, how do you find good renters? We’ll look at some of the top tips for finding great tenants in today’s post.
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1. Use “For Rent” Signs
One of the most important things that you need to do as a landlord is to find renters, which means advertising as much as possible in as many different places as possible. One of the easiest ways to notify people that your property is for rent is by placing “for rent” signs in the yard of the house, in the front window, and around the neighborhood. Make sure to check the local ordinances before you place your signs so that you do not get penalized for improper placement.
2. Utilize Rental Websites
Listing your rental property on a rental website will provide increased visibility to a much broader audience. The greater the number of prospects, the larger the pool of applicants you’ll have to choose from. This also means that you should have a greater number of applicants who will qualify to become your renter. There are numerous websites that you can take advantage of and many of these are free! In fact, many renters utilize their smartphones or tablets to browse available listings, so take advantage of where your audience is, and find your next qualified renter more quickly!
3. Advertise on Social Media
There are numerous groups, on various social media platforms, that can provide access to the audience you are looking for. In fact, there are groups that focus on geographic regions and even specific neighborhoods, which means that you might be able to join one of these groups and post your available rental for free. Before you post, however, make sure to check for any restrictions the group may have about posting advertisements.
4. Employ Print Media and Word-of-Mouth
Another great option for free advertising is local free-press publications, and of course, word-of-mouth advertising. While not as many people read print publications, it’s good to remember that a number of newspapers and other local media feature online versions of their print editions.
Word-of-mouth advertising is a great way to use your circle of influence to find qualified renters. From family and friends to neighbors and coworkers, there are many ways of connecting with people who are interested in your rental property. An added bonus is that your friend or family member can vouch for the applicant as a qualified renter.
5. Follow the Law
As a landlord, you are required to treat all of your prospective tenants equally and avoid discriminating based on:
- National origin
- Families With Children
Since many states have their own Fair Housing Rules, it’s important to make sure that you are not only compliant with federal laws, but also with state and local laws.
6. Perform a Criminal Background Check
Since criminal information is a public record, you will be able to view this information at various courthouses. Additionally, a criminal background check will reveal both serious and minor offenses. In order to run a criminal background check, you’ll need the prospective tenant’s name and date of birth. Since those with a criminal background might attempt to falsify this information, be sure to require a valid ID.
One point of caution is that certain states, including California, prohibit landlords from discriminating against renters with particular criminal convictions. If you deny an applicant with a serious conviction, you will likely find it easier to justify your refusal, as their presence could jeopardize the safety of your other tenants.
7. Request a Rental History Report
A rental history report is a valuable tool for landlords who are screening potential applicants. It will show you whether a potential tenant was disruptive, late with payments, or even delinquent with payments. You want to make sure that if you talk to previous landlords, you talk with at least two. The reason for this is that if a tenant is problematic for their current landlord, the landlord may not be as truthful since they want to get rid of their undesirable tenant.
Be sure to find answers for the following questions:
- Did the tenant pay their rent on time?
- What is the reason for the move?
- Were they evicted for non-payment or breaking rules?
- Did the tenant provide 30-days’ notice prior to moving?
- How did they keep their apartment or duplex?
- Did they cause any damage beyond normal wear and tear?
- Were they respectful to their neighbors?
- How frequently did they complain?
If the applicant is a first-time renter such as a college student or recent graduate, they may not have a rental history, which means that you should require a co-signer on the lease.
8. Look for Job and Housing Stability
It’s important to check for both job and housing stability in a potential renter’s application. For example, if they have frequently switched housing situations or moved from job to job, then these could be indications that they are not stable renters or cannot afford the rent, and you will be dealing with a vacancy very soon.
At Lido Real Estate in Orange County, our team of real estate agents is here to help you find the income property or new home that you are looking for. From duplexes to fourplexes and more, there are numerous options to suit your needs. Contact us today to view all of the available listings, and let us help you get the best income properties.