An investment rental property is a wonderful thing. Except for those pesky tenants.
Finding the right tenant for your property can be a frustrating, time-consuming and complicated process, there’s no doubt about it. Especially if you try to do it all yourself.
There are basic steps to take, of course. Asking for references from applying tenants is standard, of course, as is employment information, and contact information for the applicant’s employer. Asking for the name and contact information for the applicant’s previous landlord is also a good idea. A tenant who is looking to move simply because they want a nicer place, or because they’ve recently moved cities will have no problem providing the information. But a tenant who was evicted from their last residence, or who was chronically late in paying the rent or faced complaints from neighboring tenants, will be more reluctant. Obviously, that’s a red flag.
A credit check is a good idea, of course, but it’s not the answer to everything. An applicant may have a very good credit score, but still may be a disruptive and unpleasant tenant or neighbour. Conversely, turning down an applicant purely because they have a bad credit score may end up costing you somebody who could be a wonderful tenant. Credit scores are a tool, but they don’t necessarily tell the whole story. An applicant who’s gone through a recent divorce, or who’s had a recent and unavoidable expense, may have a temporary bad score, but could still be a reliable tenant. And somebody who’s been through a tough time recently, but has gotten their life back together – with a new job, for example – will see their credit score rapidly improve. But, of course, that’s all paperwork or phone calls. No tenant is going to be willing to rent your property without having a chance to visit it in person. And nor should you be willing to rent out your property without personally meeting your prospective tenant first. That means setting up viewing hours, which can be a time-consuming process. But it’s a necessary one. This is your investment property we’re talking about here.
At this point, you may well be telling yourself, “I don’t want to spend days checking references, or employment or rental histories. I bought this property as an investment, not as a second job. And I don’t even know how to go about getting a credit check done on somebody.” You may not want to spend your time looking into somebody’s history. But we know how to do it. You may not trust yourself to know who would make a good tenant and who wouldn’t. But we have a long-established and successful history of doing just that, with a long list of satisfied owners and wonderful tenants to back that up. We pride ourselves on our one-of-a-kind tenant selection process.
Remember, tenant selection is a landlord’s first line of defense and the single most important step when leasing out a property. If you decide to assume your own responsibility for finding a tenant, bear in mind the basic tips above.