People think that being a landlord is a walk in the park. After all, you just collect money regularly from your tenants. You don’t have to worry about working an eight-hour job. You’ll be just fine since you can expect to receive money by the end of the month. But collecting money isn’t the be-all and end-all job of a landlord. There’s a lot that goes into a rental business than meets the eye. First, landlords need to find good tenants who will be good payers and be committed to fulfilling the contract.
Some landlords need to partner with a bailiff company to collect rent payments or evict tenants who have breached their contracts. While this is a foolproof plan to protect your rental business, it does come with legal implications. Not to mention, it is stressful to deal with errant tenants. To avoid being in this situation, you’d be better at screening potential tenants.
Know the Law
Research laws that cover landlord-tenant contracts and relationships. The Fair Housing Act should be your guide in your rental business. It specifically says that you cannot discriminate against qualified tenants. You cannot deny qualified tenants because of their race, religion, age, national origin, or family status. But it allows landlords to base their decisions on credit history and criminal records.
Put ads online, but use traditional methods, too. You can put up an ad on rentals.com or rentalhomesplus.com. You can also advertise on Facebook for free, as well as on Craigslist. But you should be careful when using free platforms such as social media because there are plenty of fake inquiries that will be a waste of your time. On your ad, include a photo of your house and some basic details such as the size, neighborhood, number of rooms, amenities, and rent amount.
Make sure to have a concise but detailed tenant application form. You should ask pertinent details such as their employment history and rental history. You can even ask for a copy of their credit report and score. This will give you an idea if they would be good tenants in the future. Ask for at least two personal references. These people should not be related to the applicant.
Do a Credit Check
As a landlord, it is in your best interest to ensure that potential tenants can pay the rent. Do a thorough background check. Verify their employment and income and check the tenant’s income-to-debt ratio. This information will give you a picture of an applicant’s financial situation. If they have prior evictions, this is an important detail that you should know about, too.
Once you have tenants you really like to keep, treat them well. Speak to them kindly. Be considerate of their situations as long as your rights as a landlord are not being trampled on. Send them greetings during the holidays. If possible, send a box of cookies to show your goodwill. Keep things professional and friendly. Having a great relationship with your tenants will make your business more profitable.