No one wants a bad tenant. They can be hard to detect, though. When renting your property, you want the entire process to be smooth. In an ideal world, the perfect candidate would come to your door the exact moment you have a vacancy, and would want to stick around forever. Unfortunately, that’s not always what happens. Sometimes you have vacancies for much longer than you intend, tenants that leave earlier than anticipated, and horrible tenants that you really wish would leave sooner.
A bad tenant will often try to trick you during an application process. Obviously, they want something that you have, the property. They’ll turn on the charm and go to certain extremes to make it seem like their credit and history is a lot better than it actually is. An owner rented property is a lot more likely to be targeted by this sort of bad tenant. The owner of a property is a lot less likely to notice the red flags in a financial history. A property manager has been trained to find these issues and red flags, and can often keep you out of the nightmare experience altogether.
Before choosing someone to live in your property, you’ll want to do tenant screening. You need to make sure that they’re a trustworthy person who will pay their rent on time, and not break your rules. A bad tenant could leave you with months of unpaid rent, and costly damages that need repaired. To ensure that your property is only being rented to the best possible potential tenants, there are a few things during the tenant screening process that should be done:
Former landlords should be contacted to learn whether or not they paid their rent on time and if they were good tenants. You should often contact more than one, to ensure that they have a good history.
Both income and employment verification should be collected.
Run a credit report.
Contact their personal references.
Do a public notice search, to make sure there have never been evictions, bankruptcy, etc.
If your tenant seems to be serious about their job or schooling, they’re more likely to be a good tenant. If they have less to lose(money, school, job, family, friends, pride, reputation) the less you can expect from them as a tenant. If they tend to move around often without reason, this is another red flag that they might not be a very reliable tenant.