Bad tenants are an all too common problem faced by nearly every landlord in history, bringing with them a trail of late payments and property damages, and leaving you wishing that you had somehow known how to identify an ideal tenant. If you know exactly what to look for in a good tenant and know how to go about getting them, your career as a landlord will look a lot brighter and will bring you significantly less stress. A good tenant will have a few crucial qualities – it’s your job as a landlord to effectively screen candidates and identify the good ones.
Accept no less than an excellent credit score
One of the most valuable resources available to Toronto landlords throughout the screening process is the ability to request a credit check from all candidates. While there are certainly other important elements to finding a good tenant, a credit check will do a good portion of the work for you. This isn’t saying that people with bad credit scores can’t be good tenants, but your interest as a landlord is to collect rent payments in full each and every month, and a good credit score is a solid indication that you’ll be able to do this. Credit scores are an indication that a person pays their bills on time and in the full amount, how much debt they have accumulated, and what kind of debt they possess – because your time, money, and property are involved, a bad credit score just isn’t worth the risk.
Willing to ask questions and communicate
Maintaining an open line of communication between yourself and your tenant(s) is an absolute must when it comes to fostering relationships of trust with tenants. A good tenant will be ready with respectful but fair questions during the interview process, asking about things like your preferences and expectations as a landlord, as well as about your property. Good tenants will also not hesitate to reach out and communicate problems or concerns with you – this is very important in keeping up with maintenance work. Maintenance issues that are left unattended for too long can spiral into much larger problems, so having a tenant who will communicate these issues with you is extremely valuable.
A history of good references
References are a great way of determining whether a candidate will be a good tenant or not, especially coming from former landlords and employers. A positive reference can speak towards the character of a tenant, and tell you a lot about the way they will treat your property, communicate with you about problems, and handle rent and utility payments. Former landlords and employers have nothing to lose in giving a negative reference, so their feedback should be taken seriously in your screening process.
Respectfulness and punctuality go a long way
While it may seem obvious that respectfulness and punctuality are indicators of a good tenant, they are often overlooked by landlords during the screening process. A candidate who shows up to an interview on time and generally appears to be ready to meet with you will signal that they are respectful of your personal and professional time, and can show that they will be respectful of your property while occupying it. Bad tenants are often disrespectful towards landlords and as such will attempt to take advantage of them – when it comes to being respectful, it’s wise to use your instincts when choosing a tenant.
How do you choose a good tenant?
Effectively screening candidates is the only surefire way to choose a good candidate. This will involve treating each applicant equally and respectfully in asking for credit references, police checks, references, and interviewing them in person. Without doing your due diligence and thoroughly screening each and every tenant, your risk of renting to a bad tenant will rise dramatically. Recruiting the services of property managers like the experts at Highgate Properties gives you access to an experienced team who are able to recognize good and bad tenants, and identify potential red flags. Property management companies do the hard work so that you don’t have to, letting you get the very most out of your free time and take care of the important things in your life.
For more information about the property management and realty services offered by the experienced team at Highgate Properties, contact us today.