Finding the right tenant for your rental property can be tricky. Naturally, you want to ensure you find someone who will take good care of your property and pay rent on time. But what exactly should you be looking for in a tenant?
Here are 10 qualities that every good tenant should have. Keep these in mind when screening applicants; you’re sure to find the perfect renter for your property!
1. A Good Credit and Criminal History Check
It’s important to do a thorough background check on any potential tenant, including checking their credit score and criminal history.
A low credit score can indicate that the tenant may have trouble paying rent consistently on time. And a criminal history, especially for violent or theft-related offenses, could potentially put your property at risk.
As a landlord, you have the right to deny an applicant based on a negative credit or criminal history. And while it’s important to consider giving second chances, ultimately, the safety of your property and other tenants should always be the top priority.
2. Employment Stability
Another important aspect to look for in a tenant is employment stability. This means they have a consistent job, with no gaps in their employment history, and preferably with one company for an extended period.
In addition to having a stable job, It’s also good if the tenant has a high-income relative to the cost of the rent. This will give you some indication that they will be able to afford and consistently pay rent on time.
As a general rule of thumb, rental experts recommend that tenants spend no more than 30% of their gross income on housing expenses (including rent, utilities, and any other fees). So be sure to ask for proof of income during the application process; this could include pay stubs or a letter from their employer.
3. Good Rental History
Having a good rental history is another key indicator of a good tenant. Ask for references from previous landlords and follow up with them to see how the applicant acted as a renter in the past.
Did they pay rent on time? Did they take care of the property and notify the landlord of any maintenance needs? A positive rental history means that this tenant will likely do the same for you as their current landlord.
However, if an applicant has no rental history or their past landlords had negative things to say about them. In that case, it might be worth considering passing on this tenant and finding someone with a proven track record as a responsible renter.
4. Good Communication Skills
Part of being a good tenant is maintaining open and honest communication with the landlord. This includes notifying them of any maintenance issues, paying rent on time, and abiding by the lease agreement.
Pay attention to how well the applicant communicates with you during the application process. For example, do they respond to emails or phone calls promptly? Are they clear and organized in their explanations or requests? Good communication skills can make for an easier landlord-tenant relationship overall.
A flexible tenant is also a valuable asset for landlords. This means they are willing to work with you on potential rental changes, like adjusting the lease terms or allowing for showings if you plan to sell the property.
Of course, this doesn’t mean the tenant should be taken advantage of or expected to bend to every request. But a flexible tenant shows that they are willing to work with you and find solutions to any potential conflicts or changes that may arise during the tenure of their lease.
6. Respect for Rules and Property
A good tenant will also have respect for your property, as well as any rules or regulations set by the landlord or the building itself (such as noise levels, pet policies, and parking restrictions).
During the application process, inquire about any past rules violations or property damage. A respectful tenant will understand and adhere to these guidelines, taking care of your property as if it were their own.
You want a tenant you can rely on to pay rent on time, consistently follow the lease agreement, and be a responsible renter overall.
Ask for references from previous landlords or employers to get an indication of their reliability. It’s also helpful to have a credit and background check done, as this can provide insight into any potential red flags in their past behavior. Reliable tenants make for a much smoother landlord-tenant relationship.
8. Long-term Plans to Live in The Unit
Ideally, you want a tenant who plans to stay in the rental unit for an extended period. This means less turnover and constant searching for new tenants.
During the application process, ask about their long-term housing plans to get an idea of how long they intend on renting from you. Of course, plans can always change, but it’s helpful to have an idea of their intentions upfront.
9. They Ask You Questions, Too
A good tenant will also have some questions for you during the application process, showing that they are not only invested in finding a suitable rental property but also want to establish a positive landlord-tenant relationship.
Some potential questions could include inquiring about the terms of the lease agreement, building amenities or policies, and any additional fees or utilities not included in the rent. Asking questions can also indicate that they are organized and prepared for what it takes to be a responsible renter.
10 Respect for Your Time
Lastly, a good tenant will also show respect for your time. This can include prompt responses to any inquiries or requests, showing up on time to scheduled viewings or meetings, and being considerate of your schedule as the landlord.
Pay attention to how they interact with you during the application process. Do they make and keep appointments or show up late without prior notification? This will give you an idea of how they will behave as a tenant.
Finding the Right Tenant for Your Property
Overall, a good tenant possesses qualities that make for a positive and mutually beneficial landlord-tenant relationship. While there’s no set formula for finding the perfect renter, keeping an eye out for these traits can help you find a reasonable and reliable tenant.
Alternatively, you can hire a property manager to handle the tenant screening process for you and ensure that you end up with a responsible renter who will take care of your property.
At Local Dwelling, our property management services include comprehensive tenant screening to ensure that we find the best fit for your rental property. This includes background and credit checks, as well as landlord and employer references.
Additionally, we have a thorough onboarding process with clear communication of expectations and guidelines for both the landlord and tenant. With our experienced team, we strive to make the rental process as smooth and stress-free as possible for both parties involved.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you find the perfect tenant for your property.