Selecting a Tenant – Simple Guidelines

Any experienced Real Estate investor knows that not all tenants are the same, and that the gap between a perfect tenant and an undesirable candidate can be considerable. The unfortunate results of signing with a bad candidate can range from damaged/neglected property to missed payments, to cases of domestic violence and worse. As an established Toronto property management company with years of experience in the field, we have seen more than our share of such occurrences.

To avoid people from this category and ensure you get only good, reliable renters, the first thing to do is to attract the right people. The best way to do this is to keep the property in good shape and price it correctly. Poorly maintained, low priced housing might drive good tenants away and attract the wrong ones instead, leaving you with very few good options to choose from.

In the recent years and with the advent of online rental searches, the market has developed hard competition among unit owners who want to get the best renters. Once you have a nicely kept and correctly priced property, you need to be able to evaluate candidates before signing. So the question is, how do you ensure that you trust your property with responsible people who will take good care of it?

When you are trying to evaluate potential tenants, there are signs to watch for. We call them the Green and Red flags. Let’s examine those.

Signs of a Good Renter

1. They are organised. Showing up on time is a major trait of a responsible renter. Adding a small condition like that they must call an hour before to confirm the meeting is also a way to see if they can follow simple instructions.
2. They arrive prepared. If they ask you what they should bring to the meeting, that’s a huge bonus.
3. They are financially responsible. They produce the checks in advance, go to the bank for the money order (if needed) and don’t need prompts or reminders.
4. They are honest. Not very easy to judge, but a hugely important factor. If you meet them with a friendly demeanor, and see how they respond. Ask leading questions, make conversation. When put at ease, people will act naturally, allowing you to see who they really are.

If you’re still unsure, take a look at the following red flags:

Signs of a Bad Renter

1. They arrive late for the meeting, offering no explanations
2. Obvious drug/alcohol issues and/or bad personal hygiene
3. Lies or attempts to manipulate your emotions
4. Forgetful, disorganized, dysfunctional people

When you see those signs, simply say thank you and move on. It’s better in the long run to wait for a more suitable and reliable tenant than settle for someone who could be more problems than they’re worth!

HighGate Property Management Toronto wishes you good luck and happy renting!

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