Tuesday, April 23, 2024

5 Strategies to Attract and Keep Reliable Tenants

When you own rental property, you need reliable tenants who pay rent on time and take good care of your property, but it’s not always easy. Even though you might have a rigorous application process and high standards for credit and rental history, some people slip through anyway.

To attract and keep your ideal tenants, you need to do more than just screen them, although that is important. Here are several strategies that can help you weed out the good from the bad before they sign that lease.

  1. Hire a property management company

Attracting ideal tenants isn’t always easy. If you’re not experienced in tenant screening, you might struggle with this part. That’s where a property manager can help. For example, the Fort Worth property management team from Green Residential helps Texas landlords acquire high-quality tenants with great rental histories and good credit. With decades of experience, finding reliable tenants is second nature.

If you aren’t sure what to look for when screening your applicants, or you don’t know what questions to ask throughout the process, hiring a professional property manager is the easiest way to get what you need.

  1. Go over the lease verbally

Handing someone a hard copy or PDF file of their lease is always a good idea, but don’t depend on that being enough to communicate your lease terms to a new tenant. Always go over the lease verbally with a tenant, preferably in person, page by page. This gives you the opportunity to expand on terms that need clarification or examples, and it gives your new tenant a chance to ask questions.

If you just give them the lease and ask them to sign and return it, there’s a good chance they will send it back partially unread and/or misunderstood. This can lead to arguments, misunderstandings, lease violations, or worse – lawsuits. Always review the lease in person and have them initial every page, even if you do it electronically.

  1. Explain your expectations before signing the lease

One of the most common reasons property owners end up feeling sideswiped by a tenant is a lack of communication regarding their expectations. It’s not enough to expect people to pay rent on time, comply with lease terms and amendments, and notify you of any issues that need to be addressed. This is natural for some people, but not everyone. Some people need to be directly told.

It’s crucial that you explain your expectations to tenants before you sign a lease agreement. Some people are used to taking advantage of landlords who let things slide, and you don’t want to rent to someone like that. If they’re not up to the task of paying rent on time and being responsible, setting your expectations with them will encourage them to find another rental.

  1. Be strict from the beginning

From the beginning of your connection with a prospective tenant, treat them as if they are already a tenant and hold them accountable. For example, if you plan to show a unit to them at 9:00 a.m. and they haven’t shown up or called you by 9:30 a.m., you have two options: leave and tell them they have to reschedule, or wait around for a while for them to arrive and let them know you expect more from your tenants.

Everyone is going to be late once in a while, but not calling to let you know is never acceptable. That’s a sign of an irresponsible tenant and could indicate a future filled with late rent payments.

You can be strict and friendly at the same time, so don’t be afraid to reject tenants who don’t seem like a good fit in the responsibility department.

  1. Trust your instincts

If you’ve been renting to people for a while, you probably have a good intuition for someone who will be a good tenant. Without breaking any laws, trust your instincts if you feel like someone might be a great match, or if you feel they aren’t a good fit. You don’t have to give people a reason for their rejection, and it’s better if you don’t for legal reasons.

Reliable tenants make owning property easier

Owning rental property can be demanding, but it’s also financially rewarding. Having amazing tenants who pay rent on time and keep your property in good shape makes it better. You’ll still have periodic repairs and maintenance to handle, but cooperative, reliable tenants will make tackling your responsibilities easier.

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