As experienced landlords know, tenants can have a huge impact on your business. Responsible tenants will pay their rent on time, minimize wear and tear, and typically treat your property like it was their own. Bad tenants, on the other hand, can be costly in more ways than one. They may consistently pay their rent late, cause expensive property damage, cause trouble with other tenants, and generally be more trouble than they’re worth.
Needless to say, good tenants are extremely valuable in the rental housing industry; it truly pays to take the time and energy to find them. One bad tenant could cause problems for months until the lease ends or an eviction judgment is made, so it’s best to avoid them whenever you can. Read on to find out what makes a tenant a good, reliable candidate for your property.
Please note that this is not intended as legal advice, but for information purposes only. Laws may vary depending on your location.
Qualities of Good Tenants
- A Detailed Application
A good tenant will make a point to make sure their application is completely filled out. They’ll provide detailed information on everything you ask for, including the names of references and their contact information. You should have no trouble being able to tell that they’re able to meet their rent payments and take good care of your property.
- A Good Tenancy Record
The tenant should have good references from their previous landlord. You can also check to make sure they’re not listed on a tenancy database. These databases are used by landlords and property managers who have had problems with tenants, such as property damage or falling behind on their rent.
A good credit score indicates the tenant pays their bills on time; it also shows you how much debt they have and what type of debt it is. Essentially, a good credit score shows that the tenant is financially responsible—which also means they’re likely to be responsible when it comes to paying rent.
- Easy to Communicate With
It shouldn’t be a chore to communicate with your tenants. Good tenants will be respectful, friendly, and easy to communicate with. They should respond to your calls and messages within a reasonable amount of time and you should make a point to do the same.
- Pays Rent—On Time
A good tenant never defaults on their rent; they make sure to pay it and pay it on time. To help make on-time payments easy, consider offering online rent payments. If a situation comes up where the rent will be late, or the property has become unaffordable, they’ll communicate this clearly and honestly.
- Accommodating for Property Access
Tenants have a legal right to privacy, but there are still times when it’s necessary to visit the property for inspections, repairs, or general maintenance. A good tenant understands this and will have no problem allowing you to access the property with the right amount of notice.
- Cares About the Property
A good tenant will care about the property and try to reduce the amount of wear and tear they add to it—and avoid causing property damage. They’ll care about where they live and it will show through their actions and tidiness.
- Notifies You of Maintenance Issues ASAP
Part of caring about where you live involves keeping the property well-maintained. Good tenants will let you know as soon as a maintenance issue needs attention. Not only does this show respect for your property, but it also can end up saving you money—after all, a small leak can turn into an expensive problem very quickly!
Some tenants live for drama; they play the victim and offer excuse after excuse for why they haven’t paid their rent, maintained the yard, etc. Fortunately, they often have a history of late payments and evictions, so they’re not hard to spot. Good tenants will take responsibility for their actions and won’t bother you with unnecessary details about their lives.
- Follows the Lease or Rental Agreement
Good tenants generally want to live in a rental long-term, so they’ll make a point to follow the lease or rental agreement to the letter. They’ll adhere to rules about pets and smoking, pay their rent on time, and will avoid having parties or gatherings that disturb the other tenants and neighbors.
- Renews Their Lease
Although sometimes necessary, turnover is expensive and time-consuming for landlords and property managers. An ideal tenant will have all of the qualities listed above, along with a desire to live at the same rental for many years.
Tenant Screening: An Essential Step for Finding Good Tenants
There are many steps to take to find a good tenant: preparing the rental, advertising, showing the rental, interviewing applicants, and selecting a tenant. One of the most essential steps you can take is to make sure to screen qualified applicants. Although a potential tenant may have many of the qualities listed here, tenant screening will give you invaluable insight into whether they’ll be a responsible renter. Sign up for free today to get started on making the most informed decisions for your property!