Renting property can provide you with an additional revenue stream each month. Of course,
that’s assuming your tenants pay the rent. In order to increase your chances of finding a quality
tenant, you should hire a property manager. Not only can they screen applicants to find the
most optimal candidates, they can maintain your property, resolve tenant issues, and show your
property to prospective renters.
Here are some tips on how to find good tenants for your properties
● Ensure the property shows well: To attract quality tenants, your property must be
clean, bright, and well-maintained. Unmaintained, dirty, cluttered homes will attract a
similar type of tenant.
● Have a consistent screening and application process for all applicants: It’s a good
idea to complete background checks on all residents over the age of 18 who will reside
in the property or named on the lease. This includes checks on credit, criminal
(nationwide), eviction (nationwide), previous address, and employment histories as well
as past landlord references. You also need to determine your criteria for the perfect
tenant and stick to it. Do not alter your screening process because you “like” someone,
or get a good “feel” about them. Your property is a business and you need responsible,
● Determine how to deal with multiple applicants: Consider how you will manage
multiple applicants. Develop a consistent process that helps you narrow down applicants
so that you choose the best candidate.
● Meet applicants in person: If possible, you should meet prospective tenants in person.
Otherwise, use technology such as Facetime, Skype, or Google video chat. This allows
you to see who you will be renting to and enables the potential tenants to get a view of
● Ask questions to your prospective tenants during the showing, including:
o When are you looking to move and why (the big question is why)?
o Who will live at the property and will anyone else visit on a regular basis?
o Any pets?
o Rent is due on the first of every month – do you think that may ever be an issue?
o Have you ever had any issues with late payments or withholdings from your past
o Do you smoke?
Renting property on your own can be difficult. A seasoned property manager can take care of
the frustrating leg work so that you can spend your time on more important matters.
If applicants don’t meet your criteria, you have some other options, such as having a co-signer
on the lease or an additional security deposit. (Remember to check your state laws on this,
however. as in MD the maximum deposit you can hold is two months rent and prepaid rent is deemed to be a deposit). When you decline an applicant, send them a written notice of their
declination with the legal reason and their legal rights to get a copy of the report upon which you
based the declination.