Property Managers and the Tenant Screening Process
Choosing the right tenants is important
You Have the Final Say
There are many things to consider when you're a landlord: How often should I pay a visit to my investment property? How much will repairs cost me? How do I maximise the amount of rent I charge?
One of the factors that might get lost in all this noise is the human element. But given that your tenants are going to be living in and using your property for the next however many months or years, it's important that you choose the right people to reside in your real estate.
Your property manager will be in charge of screening tenants. However, as the owner, you have the final say on who you select to live in your property.
Consider the points ahead to make sure you end up with tenants you're happy with.
The Reference Check
This is the most basic one. Most typical tenant applications require at least three references, from personal referees, past employers and previous landlords.
Your property manager should do a bit of poking around to double-check that the references they've provided are accurate, as well as try and extract some more information from them.
This includes asking their employer about how reliable and responsible they are - which can give you a good idea of how dependably they'll keep up with the rent - as well finding out from previous landlords how long they stayed at the last properties they lived in. One year, at least, is around about what you want. Really good tenants may even provide a property manager reference.
Give Them A Tour
Your property manager will at some point let prospective tenants tour the rental property. It's a good way to feel potential tenants out - away from the stiff, formal format of an interview, they can get a better handle on what your tenants are really like.
Not only that, but their physical interaction with the house might even give an idea of how they might treat it when they move in. If you want to have extra certainty when making the final call, it might be good for you to join the tour, too.
What Questions To Ask
Of course, that's not to say that the interview isn't a crucial part of screening your tenants. Like any interview, choosing the right questions to cut through the waffle and get the necessary information is a vital part of the property manager's role.
One question a property manager may ask is why they're moving. No good tenant should have trouble answering such a simple question, while on the other hand, they may find out that they've been evicted from their previous rental property.
If you're keen to suggest some questions to the property manager, having them ask about their job is a good one - whether they're currently employed and if not, where they get their income from.