Screening tenants for your investment property can be time consuming and challenging, and the best advice you should consider is to hire a property manager who can screen applicants for you, even if you plan to manage the property yourself. When you do this, the property manager can make a decision based upon facts about the prospective tenant. A property manager can be far more objective than the owners, who might be motivated by the fact that the mortgage is due in a couple of days. If you feel a financial urgency, you might be too hasty to pick a tenant just to get someone into the house quickly.
If you do hire a property manager to find and screen tenants, the best thing you can do is to stay out of the process completely. You might have prejudices or preconceptions against good tenants simply because you don’t think they will be right for you. Limiting yourself to a certain class or group of people is not allowed under the law and it’s also not going to help you get your house rented. Trying to pick a particular tenant is not a good idea, and that’s why you hire a property manager.
When you do get a tenant into your property, we always advise you to have a reasonable late fee in place. This way, if the tenants are going to be late with the rental payment, they will not be able to do it without some sort of penalty. Once you do establish that late fee, be consistent with it. Don’t waive it in November or December just because it’s the Christmas season and you are feeling extra generous. Remember that you have an agreement in place that says you will collect the rent on the first day of every month and in exchange for that money, you will provide a house and property that is well maintained. Tenants have to live somewhere, and if they feel like you are a pushover, they will eventually be trying to live in your house for free. You don’t want to reach that point, because then you will have to hire a property manager again for the purpose of evicting those tenants, which is what you wanted to avoid in the first place.
Please visit our site or call Blackbird Realty at (702) 792-8077 if you have any questions about screening tenants, avoiding evictions and keeping your property rented. We look forward to talking with you.