CategoriesRental Property

How to Vet Your Tenants


Did you know that around 6% of rental properties are unoccupied? That might not seem like much, but that’s a good chunk of your income missing if you always have apartments sitting without anyone living in them. Maybe you’ve tried really hard, but you just can’t seem to get good tenants to stay.

Or even worse, you do get long-term renters, but they’re of bad quality and you’d like nothing but for them to finally move out.

If you’re trying to find the right tenants but aren’t haven’t much luck, then you’re in the right place. Here’s how you can vet renters so you have an easier time.

Know Your Expectations

Before you set out looking for tenants, you need to first know exactly what you’re seeking. If you just accept any person that applies, then you’re setting the bar too low, which will set you up for disasters.

So don’t rush things. Sit down and think about what qualities you want in potential tenants. These can include:

  • A minimum income (at least double the monthly rent)
  • A good credit history
  • A good rental history

If they don’t fit these criteria, it’s not necessarily a bad fit. You can make exceptions if they have a cosigner who can ensure that rent’s always paid on time.

Once you have these criteria set out, make sure you communicate them well. When you create listings, be clear about these expectations.

A good idea is to list them out in bullet points like we have up above. That way, there’s no ambiguity about what you expect from potential renters.

Be Clear About Rental Applications

On that note, you need to list out all the details for rental applications. It might take a little extra time, but it’s worth it. It’ll save disappointment and won’t waste time on both your end and the applicants’.

In your listing, describe what will happen during the process. For example, in your listing, you should tell readers that you’ll pull credit reports and run background checks, and that you’ll base your decision on those. That way, you’ll get higher-quality applicants and those who have a less than stellar background won’t bother to apply in the first place.

For the rental application itself, you’ll want to ask some important financial questions. These will tell you whether or not the potential renters are responsible with their money. Ask about:

  • Bankruptcies
  • Felonies
  • Evictions
  • Refusals to pay rent

Know the Laws

While it’s well within your rights to decide who to rent to, and who not to rent to, there are laws in place that prevent discrimination from happening. If you aren’t familiar with these laws, we highly suggest you read up pronto.

The fact is, people can take legal action if they feel they’ve been illegally discriminated against if they’re properly qualified. You can’t refuse to rent to people based on things like gender, age, or race.

Do Your Due Diligence

A potential tenant might say they have glowing testimonials from prior landlords and that they are currently employed and loved by their boss. But are these things really true?

You might think skipping over reference checks will save you a good deal of time. While that might be true, that might just come back to haunt you.

The truth is, many people will lie to get what they want. They might even be so bold as to say a prior landlord loves them when the opposite is true.

So make sure you do your due diligence. Call references and ask questions. Make sure the potential tenant actually has the good character they claim to have.

Use the Property Showing to Screen Tenants

Should you find a potential tenant, don’t just drop your guard straight away. Go ahead and book a property showing with them, but be highly observant during it.

First off, do they show up on time? If not, then this might be a red flag. They might not be responsible and/or don’t value your time enough.

Also, see how the conversations flow. A good tenant should make you feel at ease and not like they’re shady or have something to hide.

Take this opportunity to ask them some questions. Find out why they’re moving, what their current living situation is like, if they’ll submit to a credit check, etc. The way they answer these questions will be very telling.

If you’re ever unsure, always go with your gut feeling. It’s better to pass up a bad renter rather than commit to them.

Get a Property Manager

Chances are, you’re stressed out with handling your property all on your own. If you own more than one property, then it’s even tougher and you feel like you can’t juggle everything!

In that case, you’d benefit from getting a property manager. They can help you take care of the entire tenant vetting process so you don’t have to. And because they have years of experience and training doing this exact task, you can trust that they’ll get only the best quality tenants in your doors.

What’s great is, these aren’t the only services they offer! They can also collect rent, do in-house maintenance, and manage the paperwork for your renters. It’ll free up a bunch of your time and lessen stress so being a landlord isn’t as bad.

Get Better Tenants With Our Tips

After reading this article, you no longer have to worry about bad tenants. By following our tips, you’ll be able to find quality renters who will not only stay long term, but also take good care of the property they’re living in.

In the end, it’ll be a win-win situation for everyone involved. And when your tenants enjoy what a great landlord you are, they’ll be sure to recommend others to rent from you!

Do you need a property manager to help out? Then get in touch with us today!