It’s the second week of the month and you find yourself yet again hearing why that particular tenant is late on the rent. You’ve been dealing with the city because every time they don’t mow the lawn for weeks, you get the notice. You’ve been here before and you know that the there will be huge mess being left for you, in addition to that security deposit being seen as last months’ rent. You’ve been hit with a bad tenant, again, and you’re starting to think this is all just a part of being a property manager. It’s not.
There are quite a few things you can do in the screening process to avoid getting hit with a less than desirable tenant. However, sometimes, there are things that you may have already set in place that could be causing your problems. Avoiding bad tenants begins with you, and here are a few aspects that you might not have considered.
First, we discussed how your rental ad can convey messages about your property, but have you thought about what it says about you, as a property manager? Making sure that your rental ad is not only professional but also includes a few of the key aspects of your leasing policy may help to dissuade someone who might be looking for an inexperienced landlord.
When discussing things, though you may want to be a little flexible, don’t negotiate with an applicant who hasn’t even done a walk through. At this point, you may not even know if they qualify and if you’re looking to convey the message that you’re competent, breaking your own rules before they’re even fully known can make you appear less professional. You need to communicate a message that you are not only competent, but that you’re confident about that, as well. While most tenants aren’t bad tenants, those that are can spot someone who isn’t firm a mile off.
Make sure that the application itself answers any and all questions you may have about each adult occupant. Do not offer a lease until this is completely filled out and signed by all adult occupants who will be renting the property. If they haven’t filled out each portion, throw it away. Make sure at this point that you check all of the references.
The best advice that more experienced landlords and property management will give anyone new to the market is that you have to look at it as a business, and you, as a business owner. You need to know how to market to the customer you want. It’s easier to attract good tenants than it is to get rid of a bad tenant once you have one- so make sure you are offering something they can appreciate that appeals to them. Keep your property clean, neat, your ads professional and above all else, make sure that your presentation attracts what you want.