In our previous post, we looked at three steps you need to take to find the right tenants for your rental property: follow the law, check their credit score, and perform a criminal background check. We’ll finish up our list of things you should do with today’s post from Rental Research Services.

As a landlord, you need to be careful when choosing tenants to ensure that they will pay their rent on time, take care of your property, and be good neighbors. In order to find the right tenants, it’s critical that you get a rental history report on everyone who applies. Contact Rental Research services today to get the complete rental history reports you need for all your tenants.

1. Verify the Tenant’s Rental History

Be careful about speaking with just one previous landlord when you are selecting a tenant. It may be more work to contact multiple landlords, but not doing so could saddle you with a poor tenant. If they are not a good tenant, then their current landlord may be looking for a way to get them off their hands and be less than truthful in their information. Not only should you speak with at least two previous landlords, but you should also ask some very specific questions, including:

  • Did the tenant pay their rent on time?
  • What is the reason for their move — were they evicted for nonpayment or breaking rules?
  • Did they give the landlord 30 days’ notice prior to moving?
  • Did they keep their rental property clean?
  • Did they cause damage beyond normal wear and tear?
  • Did they treat other neighbors with respect?
  • Did they file a lot of complaints?

For applicants who are first-time renters such as students or recent graduates, you can require a co-signer on the lease. While they may not have a rental history, the co-signer will help ensure they are a valuable tenant.

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2. Look for a Stable Tenant

Look carefully at the dates that are listed on the tenant’s application when it comes to changing jobs or moving addresses. If there is a lot of change in either one of these categories, then there is likely going to be a problem in the not-so-distant future. If they move a lot, then they will probably continue this pattern, which means that you’ll have a vacancy on your hands sooner than you’d like. If they change jobs a lot, then they may not be able to pay their rent in full and on time each month. The worst-case scenario is that you may have to deal with an eviction process if they are unable to pay their rent.

If you have questions about their application, be sure to ask — there could be valid reasons for all of the changes. Typically, however, the more stable that an applicant is, the more likely they are to be a good tenant.

At Rental Research Services, we are proud to provide the thorough rental history reports you need to find the right tenants for your rental properties. Contact us today to learn more, and get started on the road to being a happy landlord.