Tenant Screening – Landlord Help – Accurate Credit Bureau

1.) Treat Your Business Like a Business

Many landlords do a sub-par job at running their business and we believe this is largely because some landlords don’t see their business as a business. In other words, they treat their investing like a hobby. However, when you treat your investment with the respect, systems, and organization that you would treat any other business venture, amazing things can happen.

2.) Screen Out the Bad Apples

Perhaps the biggest mistake landlords make is letting in the wrong person. This can lead to late rent, trashed homes, and costly evictions.
This ties well with number 1, because people treat their business like a hobby and refuse to follow even simple due diligence on the people who will be living in their properties. What would a bank say if you walked in, completely unqualified with no income and a 450 credit score, and asked for a large loan? A bank doesn’t run on emotion, and you shouldn’t either. So screen like your business depends on it — because it does.

When screening for tenants, we recommend:
Prospective tenants must make 3 x the monthly rent in stable income
Good credit
No recent evictions
No recent felonies
Good previous landlord references
Be careful not to screen out tenants based on any of the protected classes, or you could find yourself in a lawsuit or sitting in a jail cell.
You can download free rental agreements here

3.) Treat Your Tenants with Respect

Look — we don’t have to like our tenants. However, don’t allow personal feelings to get in the way of a business relationship (see #1.) Tenants want to be treated fairly and be seen as an equal human, because they are (no matter your personal feelings toward them.) Just because you own some rental property doesn’t make you a better person — so don’t act like it. Treat each tenant with dignity and respect and it will come back to you in success.

4.) Don’t Be Too Nice

This probably sounds like a complete reversal of what we just told you, and maybe a little harsh, but please allow us to explain. Your job as a landlord is to be fair, not to be nice. Being “nice” will give your tenants and others the invitation to walk all over you and take advantage at every turn. “But Brandon” they say “It was Black Friday and I really needed that big screen TV. I get paid again in two weeks. Can I just pay you then!?”

No.

The rental lease says rent is due on the first, so just as we are expected to fulfill our duties and obligations as a landlord, we also expect our tenants to fulfill theirs.
Humans have a tendency to keep taking more and more when given slack, something I often call the “if-you-give-a-mouse-a-cookie” syndrome, based on the children’s book where a small annoying mouse continues to push the envelope, asking for more and more things after it’s been offered a cookie.
By allowing your tenant to break the rules, you open yourself up to years of struggle and compromise that will ultimately lead to huge financial losses. Put a late fee on the rental lease and charge it if your tenant does not pay on time.
There is a difference between respectful and being nice. Choose wisely.

5.) Get Help

No landlord is an island. For more landlord help see Accurate Credit Bureau. Important Decisions Demand Accurate Credit!

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