Finding good tenants is critical, and you need to think about the difference between getting a quick tenant and getting the right tenant.
Screening Potential Tenants
We do a very careful job of screening our potential tenants. We take this process seriously because it’s the most important part of leasing your home. The screening process sets the tone for the tenancy and establishes our relationship with the tenant. So, this is huge.
Vacancy Periods versus Bad Tenants
We know how stressful it is when your property is empty and no rental income is coming in. My husband and I own rental properties ourselves, so we know what it’s like. Every day that goes by is money that’s not in your pocket. So, we want to get the property rented quickly. But, renting it to the wrong tenant is far worse than a vacancy period.
Trust Your Property Manager
We have often advised owners not to accept certain tenants who applied, but they get desperate when the home is vacant, and they have ended up taking tenants we didn’t agree would be acceptable. They leased their properties to these tenants with the understanding that we recommended a denial. These are the residents who pay late or don’t pay at all. We have to chase them down to collect rent, and there are a lot of problems that occur. You want to have someone who pays on time and takes care of the property. It’s worth it to wait a little longer to find that tenant.
Establish Rental Criteria
Don’t be afraid to reject tenants that don’t meet your criteria. Set up a solid list of rental criteria, and be consistent. We recommend you look at the credit score and verify income. Run a criminal history and get an idea of their past rental experiences. Keep your process consistent so you don’t violate any potential fair housing laws. Really screen your tenants, and don’t be afraid to let someone go.
The right tenant will be there eventually, and it’s worth the wait.
If you have any questions related to tenant screening and how to do it, please contact us at Richey Property Management. We’d be happy to help you with any Northern Virginia property management needs.