You tell your kids to choose their friends wisely because you know their friends can have a great influence on their lives long term – for better or for worse. You hope they don’t get desperate and hang out with just anyone.
They could say the same to you about the tenants in your Fort Worth property. Management of tenants is hard enough, don’t make it harder by renting to the first tenants who come along. Poor tenant qualification can lead to major problems down the road such as rent delays, property damage, higher turnover, legal issues, and eviction risks. On the flip side, renting to the right tenants – even if it means more work up front – can lead to consistent rent payments, a well-kept property, longer leases, and ultimately higher profits.
As Fort Worth rental property management professionals, Specialized offers sage advice: Three-steps for quality tenant selection.
Step 1: Confirm Ability to Pay
Request an application for every tenant over 18 years of age. This is not extreme. It is necessary to confirm that the combined tenant income equals at least 3X the rent rate. Do a credit check on each applicant and verify employment as well as income. Call previous landlords and verify at least the last two years of rental history. Two questions to ask: 1) Was the rent on time? 2) Did they damage the property in any way? Watch for previous evictions or judgments in your search as well.
Step 2: Do Background Checks
Conduct thorough background checks and screen out those with a history of drugs or theft, especially violent or sexual offenders who can bring additional liability and concerns. In addition to official databases, your reference checks should also include employers or colleagues, not just friends or family, to get unbiased responses.
Step 3: Follow the Rules
Finally, before you start, know the law and stay in compliance with all housing, discrimination, contract, and Fair Credit Reporting laws throughout the screening process. Save yourself costly lawsuits, penalties, and fines by doing things right, every step of the way.
One last piece of advice from a team of professionals who have been around the Fort Worth rental property management block a few times. You do not have to do all of this alone. Specialized has over 30 years of experience to help you quickly place the most qualified tenants possible. We collect applications, confirm income and employment, and check credit, rental history, criminal backgrounds, and even terrorist lists. We make it our business to know and follow all of the regulations involved with owning rental property. We exist to protect you, your cash flow, and your property from nonpaying or destructive tenants. Consider Specialized one of your good-influence friends. Set a good example by giving us a call, then add us to your favorite contact list. We’ll add you to ours.