Be Cautious about That First Meeting
Meeting with a prospective tenant is exciting, but it can also be very overwhelming. Not only do you have to review their referrals, credit history and past rental history, but you have to interview them to ensure they are a good fit for your property. Even a seemingly perfect tenant can turn into a nightmare situation, which is why it is important to exercise an amount of caution when meeting a prospective tenant for the first time.
A tenant may say they do not have a pet, but in reality they could have a cat, bird or other small animal they plan on sneaking into the new apartment. You can verify their no-pet status by contacting past landlords and inquiring about the condition of the property when the tenant left as well as if there were any complaints in regards to smells or noises that came from in-house pets.
How They Speak of their Current Landlord
Tenant and landlord suits are a common occurrence in civil court. Often tenants feel violated or are unhappy with their property and take it out on their landlord. Therefore, when you meet with a prospective tenant ask them why they are moving and their thoughts about a current landlord. If they have had multiple rentals in the past, ask them why they left and again, their feelings toward their landlords. Tenants who are overly negative can be difficult and you might just find yourself facing a lawsuit over a simple issue from a testy tenant if you go ahead and rent to them.
As a landlord, you have a little leeway when it comes to picking and choosing your tenants. Therefore, do your due diligence and exercise a little caution during that initial meeting and make sure the tenant you choose is the right fit for you and your property.