Landlords know that having tenants is crucial to owning a rental property. But not all tenants are created equal. Finding just anyone to fill the vacancy will not solve everything. In fact, just filling a vacancy is no guarantee that the mortgage will be paid on time or that any less maintenance will be required in the future. In some cases, it could mean more maintenance for the landlord. On top of that, if the rental unit is occupied by a high-maintenance tenant, it won’t be available for a low-maintenance tenant that may come along. Below are some tips for finding and keeping better tenants with the help of Real Property Management Southern Connecticut, an expert on property management in West Haven.
Finding Better Tenants
It’s important for landlords to make sure they are vetting future tenants before they have them sign a contract, yet so few of them actually take the time to ensure positive placements. A survey conducted by Boston based research firm Liminality Inc. found that:
- Only 44% of DIY landlords conduct sex offender checks.
- Only 51% of DIY landlords conduct criminal background checks.
- 23% of DIY landlords sometimes or never conduct credit checks.
- Only 51% of DIY landlords contact past landlords for references.
When landlords take the time to find better tenants, chances are they will actually stick around as well. Most responsible tenants with clear background checks don’t want to move around a lot and will do their part to pay their rent on time and keep their unit clean. We make sure to check out residents before placing them and has specific processes in place to do so. The vetting process may mean longer vacancies, but the pros of finding good tenants far outweigh the cons of poor tenant placement and the ensuing risks.
What to Avoid
Here are some examples of Real Property Management Southern Connecticut vetting out poor residents that would have been placed without a good process:
- We found out from a previous landlord that the applicant had started multiple fires at the property during their tenancy.
- From a criminal check, we found an applicant with multiple drug-related convictions.
- An applicant had a wad of cash, but no monthly income.
In all of these examples, without a vetting process and a set of standards, landlords would have rented to them. Each of them had money. In some cases, they even pulled it out and showed us, “Look, I will give you this if you let me move in.”
DIY landlords also get a higher number of unqualified applicants looking at their properties. The tenant community knows that professional managers have a better screening process. Therefore, unqualified applicants try to find the DIY landlords that they know likely won’t check their background.
What to Look For
Here are the checks that RPM Southern Connecticut conducts on applicants over the age of 18:
- Verify Income greater than 3x rent
- Credit check
- National criminal check
- Connecticut Criminal check
- Sex offender check
- Check social media accounts
- Previous Landlord references
While vetting is important, equally important is how the checks are interpreted and used for qualifications. All qualifications must be fairly and equally applied so the manager or landlord doesn’t run afoul of fair housing laws.
Keeping Better Tenants With Real Property Management Southern Connecticut
Once a proper screening process is put in place, landlords will have much more peace of mind about the care of their units and that their mortgage will be paid on time. Good tenants expect landlords that will take care of them and part of having responsible tenants requires the landlord to do their part to keep tenants happy. Renters are providing consistent income for the landlord and if they leave their unit because of bad property management, that is the landlord’s responsibility. Real Property Management Southern Connecticut does everything within its power to keep tenants happy and make sure that they don’t leave their unit for a reason that is within property management control.
It may be tempting for landlords to increase prices a little bit here and there to help themselves out and perhaps increase perceived value, but most tenants just want something reasonable. It will cost so much more in the long run for landlords to deal with vacancies than it will for them to keep their prices a little bit lower. Tenants will appreciate fair prices and maybe even share the word with friends and family who could all be potential future tenants. The happier tenants are with pricing the happier they will be to pay their rent on time and stay in your unit rather than look for something better. We always put client relations first because they know that happy clients mean long-term tenants and consistent income for landlords.
Nobody likes to wait around forever or not have their phone call responded to for days. This makes tenants feel like their landlord doesn’t care and doesn’t make them a priority. This can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction in tenants, causing them to start looking for somewhere else to live. In order to keep clients in their units, make sure to respond as quickly as possible to their requests for help, information, or maintenance issues. We sure to respond quickly to any need by a client. If an issue can’t be solved right away, they will at least make sure the tenants know that the concern is being addressed and will be resolved soon. They then always follow through on that promise. Tenants are happy knowing that they have been acknowledged and are more than likely patient and understanding when an issue can’t be resolved right away. It is best to be transparent and let them know what is going on and what the landlord is doing to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
Respect Privacy of Tenants
All renters have a legal right to privacy in their units. They will appreciate when a landlord respects their basic rights as well as going above and beyond to show that they really care and don’t want to impose on their tenant’s home. At Real Property Management Southern Connecticut, our team gives tenants advanced warning any time they need access to units. They give specific dates and limited time frames of when they will visit so that tenants can plan accordingly and there are no misunderstandings. The less landlords interfere with a client’s privacy, the happier the client will be. They will start to feel like the unit is their home, not someone else’s that they are merely renting out. This will create a sense of belonging and a desire to stay longer.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.