Today we are sharing a few tips and tricks that will help you find the best Phoenix tenant for your rental home. Generally, you will want to do a complete background search. Look at the credit report, run a criminal background check and scan the sexual offender list. You also want to verify income and residential history.
The number one thing I tell my clients is that the credit score is not everything. This has been especially true in the last few years, when a lot of people have lost their homes to short sales or foreclosures or maybe they have seen businesses fail. The actual credit score is not as important as other things. I’m more interested in what they pay and what they don’t. Big red flags for us at HomeQwik are when car payments are late, utility bills aren’t paid and cell phone bills are behind. That is stuff you use every day, so if a prospective tenant isn’t up to date on those things, you have to worry that they might be catching up on those bills before they pay rent.
I’m not as worried about a school loan or medical bills or even a credit card that’s maybe being used for business. We have rented to someone with a 480 credit score. He was a 20-year veteran of the Fire Department and he lost his house to foreclosure. So, after 20 years of clean credit he ended up with a bad score after his foreclosure. He’s been an awesome tenant with us for about two and a half years.
When you call for landlord references, a lot of places won’t give you too many details, but you’ll be able to find out if a tenant paid rent on time, got their full deposit back and if the landlord would rent to them again. If you’re able to talk to the landlord and get more details, that’s great. Be careful of fair housing laws. There are some things you can’t ask, and that’s why it’s often a good idea to have a professional handle tenant screening for you. Just don’t be lazy about checking a tenant’s residential history. You want to know how they have treated houses in the past.
Don’t be afraid to Google a potential tenant. Look for them on Facebook and Twitter. See what they’re talking about and get an idea of their personality. When they show up to meet you and see your property, they’re going to be on their best behavior. A little online research will tell you if the personalities match up.
Property / Tenant Match
Finally, think about what kind of tenant your property deserves. If your property is in a lower end neighborhood or a working class area, you’re likely going to end up with a tenant who reflects that neighborhood. You won’t have the doctor who married a lawyer and sends the kids to private school. Be prepared for that and find the best tenant in your area. If you’re in a high end neighborhood, you might have pickier tenants. You may have to fine tune your property because you can’t have an average property and ask top dollar for it.
If you have any questions about finding a great tenant, please contact us at HomeQwik and we’ll do whatever we can to help you.