See How Perspective Tenants Live: Visiting Previous Residences

Finding the Right Tenant

One of the biggest challenges facing landlords is finding the right tenants for their property. Once you have a steady stream of applicants rolling in, you no longer have to worry about getting your units filled, you have to worry about filling them with responsible and respectful renters. It’s important to have a good idea about who perspective tenants are financially before offering them a lease, but it’s also a good idea to know how they treat their living space.

One way to find out is to pay a visit to a tenant’s previous residence. This does come with limits — obviously you cannot simply stop by to view private property. However, if a resident previously rented an apartment or space in a community home, you may be able to take a tour and see the facility. If the resident recently left the property, you may even be able to get a look at their previous unit. If not, even a cursory glance at the state of the property and asking a few questions of the property manager could give you the insight you need.

What is the property like? Is it clean and well-kept? That might imply that the property managers expect certain standards to be met by their tenants. If you view vacant units, do they appear to be in disrepair or have damages? While it may not necessarily reflect poorly on your particular applicants, it may also be indicative of lack of care. If the property allows pets, how does it manage potential pet damage? Do they find it to be an issue with their tenants?

Seeing the way perspective tenants cared for their last rental will give you a good idea of how they’ll treat your property. Another way to gain insight into their past is to request an eviction history, which will inform you whether or not they were ever evicted. However, just because a tenant hasn’t been evicted doesn’t mean they treated their last unit well. Be sure to do your due diligence in vetting all of your applicants before making a selection. It could save you a big headache later!

If you’d like to get a full picture of perspective tenants, try our RentalConnect program, which offers property owners and landlords a great alternative to the expense of full tenant screening. This service requires no on-site visit, sign-up, or membership fees, making it extra convenient; the service fee is paid by the applicant. Available 24/7, RentalConnect is fast, easy, secure, and delivers reports needed to make an informed decision, including a credit report, a national criminal search, and a national eviction search. Reach out to us for more details!

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