Landlords and property management companies look for specific information before approving tenants. If you want to rent a space, how do you know if you’re a good tenant? Those doing the screening and calling will likely factor three qualities into their decision: good credit, a stable past, and reliable references.
A credit check is where most people start, and good credit is an indicator of the character and payment habits of an applicant. Most places use a baseline score of about 620 when making their decisions based on credit. If tenants are not paying their bills, they likely won’t pay the rent.
If tenants have low credit, they could build up the trust by having quality references and a history of rental stability; however, a low credit score is an indicator of not paying bills – including rent – on time.
A Stable Past
A tenant’s past is a good sign for most landlords, as your past experiences with renting will tell them what they can expect from choosing you. The most glaring sign on any record is evictions, and good tenants should be free of any past ejections. If they have been evicted in the past, a landlord will try to understand why it happened from both party’s perspectives. Tenants with evictions that look like isolated incidents can still be good tenants; however, if the applicant seems to make a trend of refusing to pay rent or has been evicted more than once, landlords will not consider renting or leasing the property to them.
Stability is one of the best signs of a good tenant. If an applicant’s rent history shows long periods at one address, this is a good sign that they will be stable tenants who pay their rent on time without incident. An application that lacks previous landlord information for some time could indicate the hiding a past tenancy that was not positive. In any case, landlords will ask about any serious applicant’s history and make their judgments based on the answers.
Finally, landlords or property management companies may ask for a list of references to call. They will call the numbers on the list with a series of specific questions related to the applicant’s conduct, complaints, noisiness, etc. A positive recommendation from a past landlord is an indicator that a tenant will be a good fit.
For prospective tenants, don’t just include personal references; most landlords or property managers are wary of applicants who only provide these or cellphone numbers without landlines. Many take it as an indication of fake recommendations and put these applicants at the bottom of the pile.
Other Factors Landlords Will Consider
Many things make a good tenant: relationships with neighbours, upkeep of the property (if this is the tenant’s responsibility), and more. We can assess these factors by talking to an applicant’s references. However, good landlords and property managers have a sense of people – they can figure out if a tenant is reliable or not by talking directly with the applicant and keeping up with them through their tenancy.
Careful screening of tenants is one of the most important jobs of a landlord or property manager because finding the right fit for an investment can be very tricky. When putting a rental application together, think about these three factors and see how they fit your situation!