“It is better to have NO tenant than it is to have the wrong tenant.” – John Nuzzolese
Still it is even better when you can maintain of your rental so that you can earn from this form of business.
Here are some stages to guide you in prescreening and selecting your prospective tenant with applicable forms that you can download.
STEP 1: First Contact
The screening process begins the day the prospective tenant expresses their interest by internet, phone or in person. Provided information is made known about the rent sum and terms questions need to be asked. Top questions include: Reason for moving from last location, Credit history, Number of persons
Warning signs include the prospect’s refusal to answer the questions. Serious, not desperate tenants, strive to be genuine in making a good impression to convince you that they are the ideal candidate to be in a rental business contract with you.
STEP 2: Showing the Property
When the property is being shown, make every effort to notice all tell tale signs while evaluating the prospective new tenants.
1. CHECK APPEARANCE: Is the prospect neat and clean? In most cases, an unkempt person keeps an unkempt lifestyle and home.
2. CAR. Does the prospect drive a nice car? Is it kept in good condition?
3. CHECK ATTITUDE & MANNERISM: Is the prospect polite or are there tell tale signs of future personality conflict and drama with the rental?
4. CHECK APPROACH TO PROPERTY: Does the prospects point out legitimate concerns, or fictitious reasons to negotiate?
5. CHECK SURETY: How prepared is the prospect to start tenancy on the day of first contact. Can the prospect provide a back up plan. Can the prospect decide now without being hasty.
STEP 3: The Application Process
Make sure the application process begins with a TENANT PRE SCREENING FORM (also see form below or separately on this site), and never make a decision on spot. Run a background screening test, and where possible collect even a processing fee. Look out for “red flags” all the way.
STEP 4: The Approval
This is still a test of how respectful of the agreement the prospect will be. Do not get personal when congratulating the successful applicant. Do not appear too overwhelmed either. Keep it along strict business lines.
Set the time, date and place for your lease signing, and ensure the applicant(s) is aware of what to bring – the proper sums or proof of payment as agreed, identification etc.
STEP 5: The Signing and Sealing
An efficient residential lease or contract is critical. Does the prospect possess skills to negotiate points of concern amicably. Tenancy begins at the signing of the lease when keys and monies are exchanged to seal the mutual understanding. Give them a proper receipt and keep good records as part of your other obligations as a landlord.
The above does not constitute legal advice, and are done by inhouse senior journalists after research and discussion with attorneys-at-law and other specialists, as necessary. Please remember that names are changed at times by request of the person seeking information.
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