By Christopher Seder
Growing up in a family with several rental properties I have notices that you need to take some steps to protect yourself from renting to poor quality tenants. Sometimes it is inevitable that you will rent to bad tenants but just make sure to do everything you can to protect yourself. In some smaller cities in Montana you will have to just deal with what you can get but in Billings Montana you should have no problem finding quality tenants that pay the rent on time and leave your property in good condition. You just need a system in place that you have developed over time and learning from others.
The first thing you should do is plan to show your rental property at scheduled times during the week. Save time by only showing them a few times a week. You can tell potential tenants that you will be at the property at a certain time like 4:00 p.m. until 4:15 p.m. This is a good way to weed out the bad ones, if they show up late they are probably not great tenants.
Make sure that you know what kind of tenant you are looking for. Have a list of qualifications that you look for in a good tenant, such as job history, income, credit and other qualities that make a good tenant. This protects you from discriminating and helps you make better decisions.
Use the rental application to separate good tenants from bad ones. Make sure that they have filled in all the necessary blanks and answered all of the questions.
Next you should be running credit and eviction checks on the tenants. This just tells you if the tenant is going to be paying you or not, which I think is pretty important.
You should contact the tenant’s last two landlords if he/she has had any. Lands lords can be the key to finding out if you will have a good tenant. The land lord before the current is more likely to tell you more than the current one. The current one might just want to get the tenant out of his/her hair.
Do not just rush into putting a tenant in your property. Take your time and gather a few applications so that you can make the best decision and find the right tenant.
A great idea that I recently heard was to give your tenants rebates if they pay on time. Giving your tenants a $20, $50 or even a $100 rebate depending on their monthly rents can give your more potential renters and give them an incentive to pay on time. This could give you a better pool of renters to choose from.
Another check to do is to check the applicant’s car, and clothing. If a person looks like a slob they probably are a slob. And if their car is a total mess then that is what their apartment is going to look like. You can take a look at the car by going out with them and writing down the make, model and license plate number for the application.
To get rid of bad tenants offer them cash incentives for keys, cleaning or something. As a last resort to just get the tenants out offer them incentives if they are out by a certain day you will give them x amount of dollars. Tell them you will have to do an inspection of the property and make sure that it is in its current condition and all the tenants belonging are gone before he/she gets the incentive. This could be a better solution than eviction.
Taking a few precautions when renting a property can save a land lord several nights of restless sleep and save the wallet.
If you would like to find great deals on rental property we may have some for sale at Big Sky Property Solutions LLC
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