is key in keeping your real estate investing business afloat.
Reference and Background
One of most common questions
I get asked is. . .
"How do you avoid bad tenants?"
That is a very good
question, and an important one to ask if you want to avoid any future
hassles and headaches.
A good Landlord must
be able to play the role of a private investigator to determine who would
and wouldn't make a successful Tenant.
Picking responsible Tenants
is key in keeping your real estate business afloat. But be aware, it takes some
sleuthing work to get a compete picture of your prospective Tenantís lifestyle and financial
Are They Telling the Truth?
surge of shady renters out there and the abundance of cell phones, itís
become incredibly easy for people to give out fake references. These range
from friends or coworkers pretending to be Landlords or even employers.
way to determine if your Tenant is telling the truth is to use Google and
enter the phone number of the Landlord or reference. Does the
information that comes up make sense with what the Tenant told you?
Is it the correct name, city, employer, etc...?
Conducting Reference Checks
When meeting with potential
Tenants, use the Rental Application on this
site which includes a signed release from the applicant allowing you to
speak about them with their current employer or past and current
When checking rental
references, here are several questions you can ask to help you get more
information on the Tenant.
Reference Check Questions for
When did he/she rent
How long did this
person live in the rental?
Did he/she pay the
rent on time?
Did they have any
Were there any
complaints from other Tenants?
Was there any damage
besides normal wear and tear?
Was the tenant
respectful to you and the property?
Did the Tenant give
you proper notice to end the tenancy?
Would you rent to this
Reference Check Questions for
When did the
What is their position?
Are they full time or part
What is their current wage?
(Check against the application and pay stubs)
Next, go to:
Avoiding Bad Tenants
Smart Landlord Tip
In addition to
performing rental reference checks, here are some other ways to get to
know your potential Tenant:
Google their name in
quotation marks like this: "Jane Smith" and see what comes up.
If it's a common name, you might have to add the city: "Jane Smith"
If they are under 50, they'll likely have a
that you can use to verify some employment information.
Many social media
users will also have a
that you can use to gain an idea of their interests.
2. Check them
out on Facebook.
Nearly everyone, except for perhaps some older folks, have a Facebook
account. Many have not set their privacy settings very high allowing
you to view their photos, their timeline, comments and so on. Ask
yourself, are they the type of Tenant you want to rent to?
They will not know you
checked them out on FB unless of course, you ask to be their friend (which
I wouldn't recommend).
3. Get the
address of where they currently live. Do a drive-by. Is the
yard neat or is it a mess?
4. Look inside
their vehicle. I know this sounds strange, but it has been said that
the inside of one's vehicle can indicate how they keep a home.