Owning rental property is both a challenging and rewarding process. In order to make the most of your rental investment, you must be sure to select your tenants carefully. A great tenant will take care of your property, potentially adding to its value. You can avoid the pitfalls of rental property ownership by following these five simple steps to avoid troublesome tenants. Taking your time now on rental preparation and tenant verification can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Get ready for the rental application process
It’s essential that you have a lease prepared before you rent your property. Be sure that your lease outlines who is responsible for maintenance, upkeep and repairs at the property. You should never rent to someone without ensuring that they have first signed a lease.
Ensure that you have met your duties as a landlord
Prior to renting out your property, you should make sure that it meets all applicable building codes in your area. If the property needs repairs or appliances need to be replaced, you should take care of these items prior to renting. This is a great way to prove that you have done your due diligence as a landlord.
Complete a thorough tenant screening
Make sure that every potential tenant fills out a rental application form. You should be sure to complete a credit check and criminal records check on every potential tenant. Carefully read a tenant’s credit report to be sure that he or she is fiscally responsible and is likely to pay his or her rent on time.
Never handle tenant problems on your own
If you have problems with a current tenant, you should contact an attorney. Tenant laws can be complicated and often the tenant has more legal protection than landlords.
Address potential problems quickly
Tenants who don’t pay their rent on time or who violate the terms of a lease must be dealt with quickly. In many states, it can take months for a tenant to be evicted. You should start the process as soon as you sense a problem.
A rental property can be a great investment. To ensure that you get the most out of your rental property, you should complete thorough tenant verification prior to renting to anyone. Remember to have a lease professionally prepared and to hire a lawyer to handle any problems with tenants. A little planning and foresight can go a long way towards protecting the value of your investment.
Stephen Craig is a rental property owner and enjoys writing about the duties of being a landlord. Follow him @SCraigSEO.