Finding good tenants can be one of the scariest and most frustrating things about owning income properties. I see a lot of listed properties sit vacant for months because the process of finding a reliable renter can overwhelm a homeowner.
Just yesterday I was talking with a lady who said she would never rent out her property because she feared something “bad” might happen. Her fear is very common, I hear it a lot actually and there is a misconception out there that all renters are bad people. The fear is they won’t take care of the property, they aren’t clean or respectful, or they’ll stop paying. We’ve all heard the horror stories, but it’s simply not the case for all renters out there.
If you aren’t equipped to screen renters before you sign a contract something “bad” is more likely to happen. Over the years Silver Lakes Property Management has developed a three-step process to find reliable renters for our homeowners.
1. We sit down face to face with people looking to rent.
2. Then we go through a detailed budget with the potential tenants.
3. Finally, we run a comprehensive national background check that includes a thorough credit check and tenant rental history.
Owners trying to save a dollar by not hiring a professional property manager can run into more problems than it’s worth.
A friend of mine rented to a co-worker he thought he could trust, so he didn’t do any background checks or hire a property manager. The tenants ended up being pack rats and by the time they finally moved out he had to rent six 30-yard dumpsters to clean up the mess. That cost him thousands of dollars, plus the chore of cleaning.
A situation like that is totally avoidable with proper tenant screening. I have eleven screened tenants on my desk right now, all good renters looking for homes in the area. One is a family relocating from Minnesota. The husband is on a ten-year contract with a local energy company. They have good credit and could buy a home today, but they want to rent until they’re ready to retire.
Don’t be afraid to rent. Your home can earn you money. It’s your investment. There are plenty of good tenants out there and a little precaution up front can protect you from a huge headache later on.
The biggest thing I can do for you as a property manager is take away those fears of “what if.” Silver Lakes Property Management takes steps to make sure we have the best potential tenants in the properties we manage.