With your investment strategy lined up, one of the biggest challenges for property investors is finding good quality tenants. Before you put on your landlord hat and begin conducting interviews, as a landlord, you’re responsible for being aware of local, state, and federal laws that govern discrimination and your screening criteria for tenants.
Now, of course, every investor seeks out the perfect tenant, one that never causes damage and is always timely with their payments, renewing their lease year after year. No matter how sound your investment is, without good tenants, your income stream is unsteady. Good tenants are the backbone of successful real estate investment portfolios. It pays to conduct a rigorous and thorough screening process to prevent being stuck into an unpleasant rental arrangement with a problematic renter. This will save you the frustration, headache, and financial costs that a terrible tenant can bring.
But how do you sort through the hundreds of applicants to find these gems? Read on as we explore four tips for interviewing prospective tenants for your Dallas & Fort Worth rental property.
Understand What Constitutes A “Good” Tenant
It’s crucial to have a notion of what your ideal tenant looks like before you start screening candidates in Dallas & Fort Worth.
A landlord should check these aspects of a person’s history and background: income, employment, criminal history, credit, previous eviction and residence history. Set your specifications for these areas, and then “visualize” your ideal tenant from there.
Interviewing prospective tenants for your Dallas & Fort Worth rental property is to prescreen. Processing applicants can be costly, so sorting through all applicants and narrowing down the candidates is a time and money saver. At this time, you’ll explain the process for approval and request they fill out the application, explain the criteria you’ll use for approval, and what they can expect if approved. You might be able to find out what kind of person they are, how their career is going, whether they move frequently, and if they’ve ever had problems in previous rentals with just a quick informal chat. Explain that you will be running a full background and credit check and that you will contact references. Often, just the threat of thorough investigation will sort out many unworthy applicants of their own accord. If they haven’t run away yet at this point in the process, then the probability is that they aren’t concerned about what you will find in your searches.
Background and Credit
The initial application process is no time to trust your gut or skip a step because you have a good feeling about a prospective tenant, which leads to our next tip for interviewing prospective tenants for your Dallas & Fort Worth rental property. First, run a complete background and credit check on every single applicant. Some tenants may not be entirely truthful in their applications. So, while screening applicants, make sure to double-check everything on the application. Maintain your stance on needing 100 points of identification and evidence of income. Request supporting documentation, such as their most recent payslips and/or a bank statement detailing their earnings.
Previous evictions are a red flag to proceed with caution, but you should remain fair in your consideration and take it on a case-by-case basis. Circumstances in life can cause blips on our credit history; consider how they have resolved their credit issues. If there is a criminal record and they have paid their debt to society, carefully weigh the type of crime and how much time has passed since the last incident. Take the time to ensure that you’re not placing someone with a long and uninterrupted history of violent crimes into your properties.
Our next tip for interviewing prospective tenants for your Dallas & Fort Worth rental property is to take the time to contact every reference and don’t be in a hurry for responses; let them talk. These personal connections can offer insight into a tenant that no amount of information on an application can supply. You’ll want to seek out personal contacts, which may clue you into the type of lifestyle your prospective tenant enjoys, employers for stability, and previous landlords who will offer insight into what kind of tenant experience you’ll receive from this applicant.
Some of the sample questions to ask include:
- What type of tenant were they?
- Did they pay the rent on time?
- Did they look after the property?
- Have you had any problems dealing with this tenant?
JCA Freedom Home Investors
Our final tip for interviewing prospective tenants for your Dallas & Fort Worth rental property is to leave it to the pros. Who is better at interviewing prospective tenants than property rental professionals who know the job the best. With a successful system already in place at, there is no need for you to reinvent the tenant screening wheel.
Contact JCA Freedom Home Investors at (972)737-7571. We provide must-have insights, strategies and real-life experiences to help guide you in your home buying and home selling journey and even with your investment portfolio.