The key rule in real estate has always been “location, location, location.” Everyone has heard that before. If you are a landlord or plan on becoming one in the near future, you will want to follow the key rule to owning a successful investment property and that is “tenant, tenant, tenant!” Following this key rule can make or break your landlord experience. There are many steps that can be taken to get the best tenants you can, but there is no absolute guarantee. Hiring a qualified, industry leading property management company like C.A.B. Group, LLC will unquestionably make finding a quality tenant possible. In addition to hiring C.A.B. Group, here are a few suggestions to remember to get the best possible outcome in finding a quality tenant for your investment property.
Fair Housing Rules:
The first and most important rule to any rental property and its possible tenants are understanding and following the Fair Housing Rules. In a nutshell, these are rules provided by the government that protect potential tenants from landlord decisions being based on race, gender, sex, religion, disability or family status. We at C.A.B. Group, LLC mandate that everyone be treated with respect and treated equally. These rules are one way to make sure that all landlords do this, so make sure you follow these and do not discriminate in any way when selecting a tenant.
Knowing what a person’s past looks like in many cases is an indicator as to how they will behave in the future. Performing a thorough background check will provide you detailed insight into everything they have been involved in over the past years. C.A.B. Group, LLC has one of the most extensive background searches available through our proprietary software and this includes a credit report, criminal background search, past rental history including late payments and evictions as well as an overall score/grade to give us a clear idea of status and character of the potential tenant. This information is extremely important and greatly helps in determining if a tenant is a good possibility or not.
Speaking to references can be a very good opportunity to get firsthand information from people that have had close relationships with the potential tenant. These references can and should be the past 2 landlords, their current and previous employer and of course their personal references. Engaging in conversations with these contacts will help you develop a good picture of what your tenant is like, how they are with their finances and also how responsible they are.
Meet Them in Person:
Having a potential tenant’s background information from various reports and personal acquaintances is certainly valuable, but nothing is more telling then meeting in person face-to-face. We suggest meeting the tenant in person, at the property, to give them a walkthrough and to see how they carry themselves. Meeting someone in person can give you great indicators as to whether or not they will respectfully inhabit your investment property. You can get an idea of their cleanliness by their personal presentation, their reliability based on their timeliness and their respect for the rental property based on how they behave during the walkthrough. At C.A.B. Group, our leasing agents have extensive experience in tenant procurement and many know how accurate even a “gut feeling” about a potential tenant can be.
Application Fee & Security Deposit:
All potential tenants are required to fill out an application for any property they are interested in renting. In the past, the majority of these applications were free. Unfortunately, when you accept free applications you tend to get inundated with applications, of which many, if not most, are not serious about actually renting the property. As a result, charging an application fee has become an industry standard. This nominal fee has actually removed all of those applications that were not serious and leaves you with only those that really want to move into your investment property. In addition to the application fee, one other measure to implement to ensure a quality tenant is to have a standard security deposit requirement. The industry standard is one and a half month’s rent. This security deposit will not only scare away tenants that aren’t serious, but will also cover any damages that the tenant might cause within your investment property while residing there. In combination, charging a nominal application fee along with requiring a standard security deposit, will help safeguard against renting to under qualified tenants and protect you and your property from any damages that might occur.
As mentioned earlier, there is no guarantee that a person will be a good tenant. As property managers it is our job to help landlords by getting the best possible tenants into their investment properties. Utilizing our state of the art proprietary software, industry knowledge and extensive tenant procurement experience, C.A.B. Group consistently and successfully places the most qualified tenants into our owner client’s properties. If you’re a landlord and/or rental property owner looking to improve your tenant procurement processes, contact C.A.B. Group, LLC today and let us show you how we’ve successfully brought quality tenants and landlords together for over a decade!