September 7th, 2018
Having a vacant unit for rent might feel like a waste of money. But filling that vacancy with bad tenants can most certainly be worse. That’s why it’s important to find good, reliable tenants, rather than just fill you units with the first applicants that ask to move in.
How do you avoid renting your place to tenants that will miss payments and treat the unit poorly? There are unfortunately, no guarantees. But there are precautions that make finding great tenants as likely as possible.
When GTA Landlord finds tenants, we conduct a 12-step screening process. This blog post groups together key elements from that process to exhibit the most important steps to ensuring you only rent to good tenants.
Getting a credit report from a prospective renter is a good idea. One of the things a credit report shows is how well a person is able to stay on top of recurring payments - i.e. how good they are at paying monthly bills.
Of course, a credit report doesn’t tell the whole story. Some people are great at staying on top of bills, but might be one missed shift away from going broke. On the other hand, a person who is often late may just be forgetful, but never actually be in danger of completely missing payments. That’s why you also need to get a sense of a person’s financial situation.
Documents like employment letters and pay stubs are useful because they tell you how much income a tenant has, and that that income is continual. If the pay stub shows they’ll barely make enough in a month to cover the cost of rent, that’s a red flag. If the pay stub is from a year ago, that’s another red flag.
It’s good to verify a person’s employment with the company’s HR department, since documents can be forged, or can be obsolete, even if they’re recent.
Credit and finances let you see an important component of who someone is as a renter, but they don’t form the full picture. Who knows better than past landlords whether someone is a good tenant or not? It’s always a good idea to get references.
It’s one thing to get documents from an applicant; it’s another to sit down and consider what the information actually means. This is where it’s good to have experts on your side.
Experts in tenant procurement can collect the documents that matter, analyze them and pass the best applications to you to make the final decision. There’s also the secondary benefit of saving time.
Taking the time to consider these tasks (or in the case of the last recommendation, enlisting a pro to consider them) before welcoming a new tenant can save you severe headaches, and lots of money.
Always make sure due diligence has been done before accepting an application. Spending the time or money now will almost always pay off sooner rather than later.