When you invest in your property rental, you expect to earn a steady and positive cash flow. However, for this to happen, you need a quality tenant that pays on time and uses your house responsibly to minimize maintenance costs.
Understanding the qualities of a good tenant and looking for those in potential rental applicants can save you a ton of stress. Among other qualities, check the applicants’ credit score and income-to-rent ratio to ascertain their ability to pay your rents promptly and reliably when they fall due. Here are five qualities you should look for in a good tenant for your house rental.
Ability to pay
A tenant’s credit score is the best way of assessing their ability to afford the rent and pay without trouble. Potential tenants may meet all the other criteria for your house rental, but if their income is not sufficient for the rent or they have a bad credit score record, decline their application. Everest, Home365, and JMZ are known companies for managing rentals in Detroit and other U.S. cities. The professionals there do a background check to establish if a potential tenant has had prior judgments against them for damages or uncollected rent.
The services also establish if the rent does not exceed 30% of the tenants’ income to confirm their ability to pay without undue stress. Credit and background checks are essential and integral to the screening process and should extend to cover employment status, references, and preceding rental history. Other than speaking to the applicant’s references, the managers at property management services can also use credible online services to check their credit scores.
Uses the rental responsibly
A good tenant uses the house responsibly as if it was their own and takes care to minimize wear and tear. A successful applicant will consider taking renters’ insurance to help cover repair costs to save the homeowner from high maintenance costs. The tenant must also take up the maintenance of some appliances like replacing smoke detector batteries and managing the lawn if these are in the rental agreement.
A responsible tenant alerts the property owner of emerging issues on the property that require immediate attention and not delay until the problem escalates. Payment of the rent on the due dates and in full each time is a mark of a good quality tenant and fosters a strong relationship with the owner during their stay. A responsible tenant will also follow lease terms diligently to avoid conflicts and ensure a good experience for both parties.
Respect and honesty
Respect will ensure a good experience during the rental tenure and guarantee an excellent report in the future for the tenant. A respectful tenant not only ensures a cordial relationship but also uses your property responsibly and relates well in the neighborhood. A disrespectful tenant will also deliberately default on obligations and possibly neglect the property causing high maintenance costs to the owner.
A good tenant must possess high integrity and honesty as a personal virtue. A dishonest renter will tender false information that could compromise the terms of the lease and cause problems for the owner. Be extra careful during the screening process to collect and verify sufficient information about the applicant before move-in to avoid disappointments.
High level of cleanliness
Cleanliness is one way of maintaining property value and attracting potential tenants. To sustain these standards, ensure that your tenant practices a high level of cleanliness in and around the property during their stay. If they have young children, be specific about the need to keep the walls clean and free of markings. The cleaning should extend to home appliances such as the dishwasher, stoves, laundry machines, etc., to ensure they stay functional and in good condition.
To communicate your expectations to the potential tenant, you may have to include the specific cleaning clause in the lease. This way, you avoid ambiguity and can enforce the rule for compliance citing the lease terms without the tenant feeling harassed. With a clause anchored in the lease, you can surcharge the tenant for any negligence that attracts infestation leading to extermination costs.
Every homeowner putting up his or her property for rental expects a long-term tenant to ensure stability in cash flow and better returns on investment. You may have to check potential applicants’ movement history and the reason for this latest move to establish if they will stay long in your rental. Always strive to get long-term renters to allow for predictable financial planning and to save costs on refurbishments and frequent replacements.
However, having your tenant stay long also depends on the quality of your property and the way you handle tenancy issues. You must always be at hand to solve issues promptly and efficiently while showing concern for the tenant’s welfare. To build a good and strong relationship, frequently communicate with your tenants and look after their interests to ensure they have a happy experience that guarantees a long stay.