DIY landlords and property managers often lease an apartment with minimal due diligence practices because they want the apartment to begin creating income as soon as possible. Whether it has finally became available after a large construction job and the landlord would like to put a tenant inside to offset some of the interest costs until refinance, or the previous tenant was evicted after several months of not paying rent, it can be very enticing to rent the apartment to the first person who is willing to pay the landlord a security deposit and first month’s rent. This is however not the way to operate, and it could lead to months of excessive management efforts, lost rent, and/or damaged apartment units.
The most popular method for screening tenants is background checks. The three checks that should be ran are criminal, credit, and eviction. These three checks will immediately exhibit whether or not the prospective tenant has exhibited behaviors that would be detrimental to the unit, the building’s neighbors, or the landlord’s rent collections efforts. The most important thing is that these checks must be ran for ALL prospective adult tenants - not just the one that you are in contact with during the lease up procedure.
In addition to background checks, landlords should also call the tenant’s employer and previous landlord. The employer need only confirm they are actually employed where they are at the salary amount which they claim. The previous landlord on the other hand must confirm that the tenant maintained their unit well, paid rent on time, and did not disturb other tenants. Sometimes a number of different people are applying to your unit and you must call more than 1 landlord/employer, but it is mandatory that these calls be made as prospective tenants sometimes write figures/facts on the application which are false but they know will get them approved.
Often times a tenant does not take the time to review a lease in its entirety. Therefore, they may sometimes overlook the ground rules. An effective way to mitigate this problem is by putting together a cover page on top of the lease that outlines the main rules of the apartment. These may include pet, noise, maintenance, and rent payment policies. When these rules are stressed upfront and they sign their name next to each of the laid out ground rules, they are much more likely to respect and abide by them. Contact us to find out how we can help you.