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Landlord’s guide to the lifespan of furniture

As any experienced property manager or landlord will tell you, if you plan to rent your property furnished, furniture and other elements in rental properties have to be replaced after some time. This is simply unavoidable. Of course, this does not imply you should skip regular and thorough maintenance of the property. As a landlord, it is your responsibility to pay attention to the condition of furnishings in your rental. The reasons are clear – your tenants’ satisfaction and safety depend on it. Here is the landlord’s guide to the lifespan of furniture in rental properties.  How should I manage a furnished rental? The best approach to keeping your rental crisp, fresh, and inviting is to keep tabs on when you have replaced furniture, carpeting, appliances, and other essential items your tenants’ comfort and well-being depend on.  Also, it would be best if you always were responsive to your tenant’s needs, requests, or concerns regarding the condition of the furniture. If they report a leak or some other emergency going on in your rental, be sure to react promptly. And it is not only the safety of the tenants that could be compromised. These kinds of issues could damage everything inside the home if left unresolved. Make sure you respond to such complaints immediately.  Your responsiveness and timeliness in dealing with worn-out or broken furniture will pay off big-time. Not only will you extend the lifespan of the furniture, but you will also make ground for establishing a good tenant-landlord relationship. So, this is just one way you can ensure your rental attracts and retains trustworthy long-term tenants.  Regular rental inspections extend the lifespan of furniture However, relying exclusively on your tenants’ reports is not the best strategy for maintaining your furniture in check. First of all, they might be perfectly content with using worn-out furniture. This is especially true if you mostly rent out on a short-term basis.  Also, if you do not thoroughly inspect your rental after tenant turnover, you might be clueless about what condition it is actually in. This sometimes happens if the landlord manages the rental remotely. Hence, regular rental inspections, fixes, and upkeep are a must for ensuring and extending the lifespan of the furniture inside your rental. Ideally, you or your property manager should address all issues before new tenants move in.  Update the following items at least once in 5 years Pillows, sheets, towels… Naturally, some items are quicker to break or wear down than others. In some cases, throwing out things is even a question of maintaining proper hygiene in your rental. For instance, it is appropriate to bring in new towels, pillows, and sheets every 1-2 years. If you want to avoid this liability, you might settle a deal with your tenants and have them use their own. Changing the shower curtain each year is also a good idea. Yet, you should wash and dry the shower curtain regularly to extend its durability. Mattresses Other items that are considered relatively expendable by experienced landlords are mattresses. Mattresses you might have inside the rental go through regular wear-and-tear much faster than the bed structure itself. Your tenant’s quality of life depends on the possibility of having a good night’s sleep. So, be sure to check from time to time if the mattress provides proper back support. A good mattress can last up to 7-8 years, but if you switch between tenants frequently, it is best to change it every five years. Cookware Scratched or damaged non-stick cookware may compromise the tenants’ health by releasing toxic substances into the food. Hence, update the pots and pans at least once every 3-5 years. Upgrade furniture and appliances at least once in 10 years Remember that the furniture update periods we mention here are more guidelines than strict rules. So, if your current tenants have kids or pets, the quality of the furniture might diminish faster than usual.  In our experience, office chairs, armchairs, beds, and most appliances should be updated at least once every ten years. However, if the furniture is only damaged on the surface and the structure holds just fine, you can reupholster the piece rather than buy a new one. Yet, keep in mind that the upholstering costs can sometimes exceed the price of your IKEA sofa. In some cases, the incentive to invest in a new appliance or piece of furniture will be more cosmetic than practical. So, new tenants like to see that the rental is being updated, even though realistically, your old fridge may work just fine. If you need help with moving in new furniture into your rental, be sure to hire pros from the area to give you a hand. A professional moving crew will be able to finish the transportation within a day, which is extremely helpful if you have new tenants coming in soon.  Carpeting and flooring The lifespan of your carpets also depends on their quality. If you invest in low-grade carpeting, it can rarely last more than five years. Rugs that are slightly more expensive should last anywhere from 5 to 15 years. However, if you buy top-notch carpeting and maintain it well, you can keep calm for 15-25 years! Just make sure you do not fall into the trap of assessing your carpeting through the price tag. So, if you notice spills, stains, or damages at the end of a tenancy, fix the problem immediately. You can designate a part of the tenant’s deposit for deep cleaning, repair, or replacing the carpet if needed. Also, it makes sense to take quality photos of the property prior to the new tenant’s arrival. As for bathroom and kitchen floors and walls, you may want to explore the possibility of investing in quality tiles and non-scratch surfaces.  It is best if you do not wait for the furniture piece to wear out completely If the furniture is left unchecked for too long, you might be setting the ground for complaints or unforeseen expenses. It is better to nip these kinds of issues in the bud.  So, instead of being forced to splurge on a new bed if the old one goes bust unexpectedly, a conscientious landlord will do their best not to inconvenience their tenants (and their budget) by always making sure that the furniture is in good condition. In other words, buy new furniture before the old one wears out completely. In addition, remember that replacing one aged or damaged furniture piece at a time is much more budget-friendly than having to replace the entire furnishing in your rental all at once. So, as much as you hate the idea of wasting time and money on buying new furniture too often, do not postpone changing worn-out furniture. Otherwise, you just might be setting yourself up for more than what you can manage – a complete rental remodel.  All in all, we hope this landlord’s guide to the lifespan of furniture has helped you devise a tenable furnishing plan for your rental.  Meta description: Need guidance when it comes to the lifespan of furniture in your rental? We are here to explain when you need to buy new furniture. Article courtesy of: Betty White Photos used: https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-pillows-on-a-bed-3682240/ https://www.pexels.com/photo/green-2-seat-sofa-1918291/ https://www.pexels.com/photo/interior-design-813692/ …

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From Near Or Far, Here’s How to Secure Your Rental Property

When you live in the home you own, you have a sense of security knowing exactly what is — and isn’t — going on in and around your home. Once you enter the world of rental property, however, not knowing whether the property you invested in is secure can keep you up at night. Whether your rental property is located across town or across state lines, here is how to make sure everything is going smoothly while you’re away. Hire a Property Manager Before you start installing an assortment of home security devices and gadgets, your first line of defense should be a trusted property manager. Why? A property manager ensures the home is move-in ready, provides emergency support, conducts check-ins/inspections, handles maintenance requests, and even collects the rent. In essence, they are the guardians of the home, making sure everything is safe, secure, and running smoothly. And when you work with a team like True Property Management, you can feel confident in knowing that your property will be cared for and rented out to qualified tenants. Get the Locks Changed Before the next tenants move in, hire a locksmith to change out the locks on all doors. Choose a professional who is licensed, insured, and reputable. If you’re not sure where to begin the search, try a website like Angi to see which pros are in your area. You can then narrow your search for an Angi locksmith by looking at their average rating and reviews. Keep in mind that costs of re-keying a door range from $50 to $150. Protect Your Home with a Home Security System Another great way to secure your home is with a security camera system, but keep in mind they aren’t all created equal. As you shop, consider what features each offers such as field of view, storage space, battery backup, motion detection, audio, and night vision. They come in different shapes and sizes as well, so compare and narrow down your search. There are many systems on the market, including both professional and DIY. An important note is that DIY systems save on subscription fees, but you’ll likely be the one to contact local emergency services as opposed to the instant contact a professional system provides. Add your own security touches too such as motion sensor lighting or smart locks. There’s an App for That Smartphone security is a great option for those who want to check in on their home with the touch of a button. Apps like Frontpoint Mobile and Simplisafe Home Security let you control security cameras and sensors, receive sensor notifications, and keep track of comings and goings by notifying you when a door is opened. Don’t Forget About the Garage The front and back doors might be locked and monitored, but don’t forget to secure the garage too. You’ll likely have supplies and tools stored in the garage, not to mention this is where renters will park their cars. Buying garage door openers in bulk isn’t realistic, plus openers are easily hacked, becoming an instant key to the home. To make things easier and help you keep track of who has access, use Genie Company’s Aladdin Connect device. By attaching to your garage door opener, your smartphone becomes the opener. The best part is that you can give out up to 20 unique virtual keys with set timers. This makes it easy to give renters, property managers, and cleaning/maintenance crews access and remove access at any time, making it more secure than four-digit pin codes on realtor lockboxes. Consider Landlord Insurance Insurance is meant to protect you should disaster strike, and as a rental property owner, something going wrong when you aren’t there to help is a big concern. Landlord insurance gives you that extra net of protection with both property and liability protection. The property piece of the policy covers the home itself and any repairs or damages as a result of weather as well as detached structures such as a garage. Liability protection makes sure you are covered in case an injury occurs on the rental property. It’s a good idea to add additional coverage as well for burglary to not only cover any damages incurred but to pay for or replace anything stolen. Owning a rental property is a big responsibility, not to mention a large investment. Protect your home and your finances by adding some security measures. The peace of mind is worth it, and you’ll be able to sleep a little better knowing your home is in good hands. Article courtesy of: Michael Longsden Photo by …

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How to attract long-term tenants

If you want to rent out an apartment, or any property in general, the most important thing is finding the right tenants. And this does not simply refer to someone willing to pay the most money! You want to be able to trust the people living within your walls. And you want to form a long-term relationship with them. Because that way, you know your tenants well and can ensure no sudden issues, misbehavior, or property damage would occur. However, it is not always easy to form such a relationship. You need to balance your own needs with those of your tenants and plan carefully for the future. To help you do this, we have written this guide on how to attract long-term tenants. Offer good amenities Amenities are one of the most important draws for tenants. People are a lot more likely to rent from you if they are assured of having good conditions. Included in this are quality appliances, parking, air conditioning, stable and fast internet, and more. The most necessary amenities right now, interestingly enough, are those that allow a comfortable work-from-home experience. There are, of course, concerns about dealing with difficult tenants. Many landlords are afraid that providing better amenities would only result in higher losses when those amenities are damaged or ruined entirely. However, if you provide them, you would both be more likely to find good long-term tenants and discourage bad ones from damaging what benefits them. Keep your property in good condition Upkeep is essential. You cannot assume that you can set everything up and never bother to renovate or update your property. A key component needed to get along well in a landlord/tenant relationship is support and understanding. And you need to show them through continuing to care about your property. Organize occasional minor renovations. Replace appliances when they break down or start to develop issues. Check in occasionally with your tenants to see if they need any repairs done. Of course, you do not need to take this to an excessive level and start losing money. Some tenants will do the repairs and upkeep themselves. However, they sometimes do not have the resources and means to do it on their own. And the support of their landlord will go a long way toward convincing them to keep renewing their lease. Negotiate on the rules and policies The rules of your property and your stance on certain topics are one of the main issues to address before new tenants move in. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, you need to make how you feel about pets very clear. A lot of tenant-landlord conflicts happens because of this one topic. And many landlords have found themselves in shock over finding out their tenants own a pet without bothering to inform them. Additional issues you should discuss regard the remodeling, renovations, and similar things you are willing to let your tenants do on their own. If your property is furnished already, you should also make it clear whether you are okay with your tenants replacing some of the furniture or using exclusively their own. Charge a reasonable price and avoid sudden rent increases This is one of the best ways to build a better relationship with your tenants. It is only natural that you want to earn money from your property. That is why you are renting it out in the first place! However, you must remember to keep the price affordable and check whether you are raising it significantly over or under other rentals in your neighborhood. It is beneficial to coordinate with other landlords, just so none of you run into awkward situations. In addition, it is only natural that your tenants would appreciate a timely warning if you decide to increase their rent. Typically speaking, you want to inform them at least one or two months in advance. This way, they have time to plan their budgets or even move out if they decide they cannot afford it. Offer incentives If you are determined to hang onto your tenants, you might want to offer them incentives to stay. Renegotiate your property policies. Offer them a lower rent. Or even offer a flat rate for the price of their utilities. Of course, doing so might cut into your profit margins a little. And you might not like the idea of allowing pets onto your property. However, if you are confident that your current tenants are good people who treat your property with care and respect, it is probably worth it. Nightmarish tenants who ruin properties are surprisingly rare. But so are tenants who do their best to take good care of them! Show proper respect and support This can be both easy and difficult. The support part is relatively simple. You need to do what is expected from you as a landlord: organize the repairs and similar. However, ‘respect’ can be challenging to put into words. The simplest way to put it is: Do not hover. Some landlords feel the need to constantly check on their tenants, to the point of showing up unannounced at their door for surprise inspections. Tenants have their own lives and timetables, which means this behavior is disrespectful and shows an utter lack of trust. Such behavior is likely to quickly drive your tenants away, no matter how good the renting conditions and price are. Final Words The topic of how to attract long-term tenants can be an exhaustive one. However, we can sum things up by saying that you just need to treat your tenants the way you would want to be treated. Offer them understanding and support. Do not overstep boundaries in your desire to assure the safety of your property. And do not spring sudden rent changes on them. If you follow this advice, you will be just fine! Article courtesy of: Betty White Pictures used: https://unsplash.com/photos/cIOwoljvd_Q https://unsplash.com/photos/tN344soypQM https://unsplash.com/photos/OQMZwNd3ThU …

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Tips for building better relationship with your tenants

Every property manager aims to find and keep long-term tenants. However, that’s not easy, and very often, it may seem challenging or even impossible. If you’re willing to develop your communication skills and build strong relationships with your tenants, you should let them know you and trust you, which takes time. But, when you succeed and build that trust, you can be sure that they’re likely to stay for the long haul. Let them know that if and when an issue arises, they can count on you to take care of it promptly. Here are the most important tips for building better relationships with your tenants. Make a good first impression and take care of the details First impressions matter significantly in any business. So, when you meet with a tenant for the first time, make sure to dress neatly and speak professionally. Greet them warmly and with a smile, and try to maintain eye contact. Also, ensure that your property is clean and tidy when you show it and highlight its best features. Be transparent, approachable, and polite, and take time to answer any questions prospective tenants might have about your property. Furthermore, find a way to remember their names and something specific about them to ask when you see them again. For example, you can ask about their job, their kids, and their pets. Or, ask about any interests and hobbies they had mentioned during your first encounter. Details are important, and in this case, they will let them know you care about them as individuals. Small talk is great, but make sure not to show too much interest or ask too many personal questions, because this is one of the common mistakes landlords make, and it might have a negative effect. Create clear rules and stick to them As a property manager, you need to create clear rules and stick to them. That’s how you build trust, respect, and reliability with your tenants from the very start. Explain your expectations and lease details to the tenants and ask if they understand all the rules and terms clearly. They should know what is and isn’t allowed right from the start to avoid possible future conflicts or misunderstandings. Define precisely how much notice you’ll need to give them before entering the property and how long you have to fix non-critical repairs. Include detailed expectations from both parties in the lease. Also, don’t forget to discuss policies regarding quiet hours, pets, temporary interior changes, subletting, etc. Respect their privacy Building better relationships with your tenants means being welcoming and friendly. However, you shouldn’t get too close and become intrusive. Nobody wants to deal with unexpected visits. So, no matter how comfortable you feel with each other, it’s crucial to give your tenant at least a 24-hour notice before you plan to enter their home (laws about this vary from area to area). You don’t want them to become annoyed with you or even take legal action against you for not respecting their privacy. Still, if there’s an emergency, such as a fire or water leak, you can ask for their permission to enter without waiting for 24h or more, if that means avoiding much more significant issues. Be responsive and address problems quickly One of the things that tenants value most in their relationship with property managers is prompt problem resolution. They want to know that you are willing to listen and pay attention to their needs. So, be open, honest, available, and responsive when your tenants need you. That will show them you care about keeping them happy and safe at all times. Let them know how to reach you and if you have any preferred method of communication, such as phone, text, or e-mail. Also, clarify how to report emergencies. Your communication should be easy and effective. If you happen to miss your tenant’s phone call, apologize and get back to them as quickly as possible. Always have a list of trusted service providers at hand in case you need to call them to resolve an issue at the property. Remember that timely response is the key to building better relationships with your tenants. Nobody wants difficult tenants, but nobody wants a difficult landlord or a property manager either. So, if an issue arises, always try to put yourself in your tenant’s position, and you’ll probably know what the right thing to do is. Go the extra mile There are many ways to show your tenants that you care about them and respect them. Here are a few ideas if you want to go the extra mile: Friendliness  – Build a positive relationship with your tenants right from the start by being friendly every time you talk to them. Welcome packages – You can help your tenants ease the moving stress by surprising them with a unique welcome package. For example, it can be a nice bottle of wine and chocolates, or something similar. Consider including some essentials like toilet paper, soap, etc. If you want to add a smile to their face, you can include a handwritten note as well. Gifts  – Think of a way to reward tenants who always pay their rent on time (or pay in advance frequently) and show them that you appreciate their reliability. You can give them something simple, such as movie tickets or a gift card to a local shop or a restaurant. All of these will make your tenants feel happy and valued, and as a result, you’ll build a strong relationship with them. Help them out during the moving process You can find many more ways to go the extra mile if you’re willing to. Have in mind that moving into a new home is challenging and stressful and people may have a hard time organizing the relocation. You can help your tenants by giving them friendly advice or a recommendation, such as help finding the right company for moving. That will ensure that your tenants’ belongings arrive safely to the property without any damage in transport. Your advice can help them save time and money on moving which they’ll appreciate greatly. Final thoughts Even though there are many tips for building better relationships with your tenants, these proved to be crucial ones that can really make a difference. Consider them all and start applying them as soon as possible, as they work both in your and your tenant’s best interest. Article courtesy of: Betty White Used photos: https://www.pexels.com/photo/positive-ethnic-colleagues-greeting-anonymous-female-partner-on-street-5668453/ https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-of-human-hand-327540/ https://www.pexels.com/photo/crop-business-partners-signing-contract-in-office-5673489/ …

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Practical Tips for Landlords Dealing with Difficult Tenants

If you are a landlord, one of your worst nightmares is probably dealing with problematic tenants. There seem to be some people who always cause a fuss, and with whom everything is a hassle. If you ask landlords, they will prefer quiet tenants who never cause problems and always pay on time. Sadly, that’s just not a reality, and you are bound to have many different experiences. Let’s take a look at a few practical tips for landlords dealing with difficult tenants. Remain calm Losing your temper will not help, and neither will raising your voice. Watch what you say and never threaten your tenants. You can remind them of their legal obligations, but do so in a calm manner. If you start getting angry, you might enter a heated debate and cause problems for yourself when you are not thinking clearly. Most of the common mistakes that landlords make can easily be avoided if you keep a cool head. Try to solve disputes before they escalate One of the best practical tips for landlords dealing with difficult tenants is to solve any issues immediately. Do not wait for things to escalate. You can threaten to pursue legal action and file a lawsuit. However, that can be a slow and challenging process. You are much better off solving minor issues as they come up rather than turning to lawyers and courts to solve your disputes. How to recognize problematic tenants Your best course of action is to try to avoid difficult tenants in the first place. Try to find a suitable tenant by going through a screening process. Instead of going with your gut, you should make an informed decision once you have some information on the future tenant. By having tenants who don’t cause any issues and always pay rent on time, you will save yourself a lot of stress in the long run. Have airtight paperwork Paperwork and checklists are there for a reason. You can hire someone to help you compose the forms you need and make sure the lease is airtight. Once you have all your bases covered by proper paperwork, you will have strong evidence to back your case if any problems do arise. Make sure your tenants sign all the forms and inform them of their legal obligations. Remind tenants of the move out inspection Your tenants will be required to return your property to the state it was in when they first rented it. Even if it’s their obligation to do so, some people still need a nudge. Remind the tenants that the move-out inspection will happen, and they need to have your property in good condition. When doing regular inspections, you should remind them that they need to fix things around the home. Don’t have them wait until the last minute to start getting the place in shape. Avoid problems by getting your tenants to do repairs on time. Dealing with late rent Although some landlords charge tenants below market value and should probably do a rental analysis, even they will tell you they’ve run into tenants who are late with rent. Basically, this has nothing to do with how much you are charging them; some tenants will occasionally be late. You shouldn’t have to rely on tenant promises that they will pay the rent on time. Talking to them might yield results, but there is no guarantee that things will change. You could enforce your legal option and file for an eviction, but perhaps they are just a few days late every month. Eviction can seem like a very harsh option, so you might be looking for some other ways for landlords to deal with difficult tenants. We recommend that you hire a property management company to deal with the tenants for you. The management company can collect rent for you, saving your nerves and your time. Begin the eviction process If things have gone too far and you don’t want to deal with the problematic tenants anymore, you can start an eviction. Remember that you need a valid reason for this step. Here are the situations in which you can file for eviction: The tenants are not paying rent. Failure to pay the rent is the most common cause of evictions in the US. Not moving out after the lease is over. Once the lease expires, the people living on your property are no longer tenants; they become squatters. Violation of the terms of the lease. This can include anything from damaging the property to illegal activities on the premises. Keep in mind that laws regarding evictions in California have changed to extend the eviction moratorium. We recommend trying to find alternative ways to settle disputes with tenants. Help your tenants move out Yes, you read that one correctly. Problematic tenants might not like living on the property, so you can try to come to an understanding. If they choose to move out, you can help them out and ensure everything goes smoothly, for your sake. Although it’s the tenant’s obligation to move, you can find professional movers and a reliable crew you can work with. Reliable movers won’t damage your property or any of your belongings. Make sure you are present for the day of the move to oversee how things are going. Don’t let problematic tenants take their frustrations out on your property or damage the furniture as they are exiting. Just let the professional movers handle everything while you sit back with poise, avoiding any confrontation. In summary No one wants to deal with problematic tenants, but from time to time, every landlord will have an unpleasant experience with a tenant. We’ve given you some practical tips for landlords dealing with difficult tenants, and as you can see, many of them rely on remaining calm and involving other professionals. If you have particularly nasty tenants with whom you don’t want to deal yourself, you can hire property management to deal with them for you. Don’t let difficult tenants get in your head. Some people are not worth losing sleep over. Article courtesy of: Betty …

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8 Tenant-Screening Myths

Myth #1: Go with Your Gut Most landlords know that using their gut to judge a person is not the wisest decision. According to a 2016 survey done by the TransUnions screening service, SmartMove, 86% of landlords said they verify an applicant’s information before signing a lease. However, there are still thousands of landlords a year that are duped by rental scammers who prey on “gut-feeling” landlords. The applicant might look perfect on paper, but are they really? No matter how strong your gut feeling is, never assume that an applicant’s self-provided information is accurate. If they claim to make an astronomical amount as a self-employed individual and are offering to pay the year upfront – that should be, at the least, a yellow flag. While rental applications are designed to collect information about the prospective tenant, that alone is not enough. You need to take caution to protect your property and rental business. Take the time to verify income and employment. If they’re self-employed, they should be able to provide you with their tax returns. If someone shies away from full transparency, move on to the next. You’ll be glad you did. Myth #2: A High Credit Score = A Great Tenant Their number doesn’t tell the whole story. A high credit score doesn’t necessarily mean an applicant will respect your property and, conversely, a bad credit score doesn’t necessarily mean an applicant would be late paying their rent. Younger applicants—especially Millennials and Gen Z—may have little to no credit history. Furthermore, someone that has recently gone through a divorce or has been battling cancer may have a lower score because of their spouse’s debt or outrageous medical expenses. There is not a definitive “good” credit score when it comes to renting. Many factors determine creditworthiness. An in depth report will tell you what those factors are to help you better judge what their score means to you. Pro-tip: One rental scam to be aware of is for applicants to provide a copy of their own credit report, which could be outdated or fake. Myth #3: Ability to Pay Rent is the Only Thing that Matters Rent non-payment is the number one concern for many landlords. Especially this day in age with statewide eviction moratoriums in place. Without rent from your tenants, you may be unable to fork out the mortgage payment for your income property. According to a Statista survey, 16% of low-income renters reported being unable to pay rent for at least one month out of a three-month period. It’s easy to see why landlords put their primary focus on a tenant’s ability to pay rent. However, only focusing on payment ability during the tenant screening process, could mean missing other red flags. Myth #4: The Landlord Pays for the Tenant Screening Landlords can pass the cost of a tenant screening onto each rental applicant as part of the application fee. The average rental application fee ranges from $30 to $60. This fee can cover both the cost of the hard credit/background check and the time spent screening the applicant. As a quick reminder, you should review all laws applicable to you and consult your legal counsel with questions (we’re not providing legal advice in this blog). Myth #5: Any Tenant is Better than Vacancy If you have few qualified applicants to chose from, you might be tempted to fill a vacancy with a subpar renter. Before you do, consider this fact – vacancies cost an average of $1,750 per month, but evictions cost $3,500 or more. Rushing to approve any tenant can have serious repercussions causing you a major headache and potentially major losses. In the worst-case scenario, you could end up with a tenant that fails to pay rent and refuses to leave, forcing you to go through the eviction process in an effort to remove a squatter. Myth #6: Checking a Tenant’s Credit Hurts Their Credit Score Prospective tenants may be concerned that a credit check can negatively impact their score and they may use that as the reason to avoid a credit report. Don’t fall for this one – it’s not necessarily true. It’s important to understand the difference between a soft inquiry and a hard inquiry. Traditional credit checks require a tenant’s Social Security Number. This “hard check” or “hard inquiry” can cause an applicant’s credit score to drop. However, there are options to pull a “soft” credit check. With a soft credit check, through a service like SmartMove, an applicant requests the report on their own which results in a “soft pull” that has no negative consequence on their credit score. Myth #7: Checking One Reference is Enough You should always consider an applicant’s references, particularly their previous landlords. Don’t think speaking with just one person is enough. It’s important you reach out to the tenant’s employers and past landlords. An employer reference will confirm the tenant’s employment with the company and their income. A landlord reference will confirm the tenant’s residency, rent amount, and timeliness of payments. Be advised that due to HIPPA laws, there are only a select few questions landlords may answer such as: if the person rented from them, how much they paid in rent, if they were ever late, if they gave proper notice, etc. Myth #8: Tenant Screening Takes a Long Time If you’re a new landlord learning how to screen tenants for the first time, then you should know that there are several different ways to get information on rental applicants. Some methods may be time-consuming, but there are other ways to check an applicant’s background and get quicker more accurate results. Traditional background checks are robust and highly recommended, but they can be very expensive and you may not care if the applicant got a speeding ticket last month.These background checks require an extensive amount of research to pull such a large volume of data together, which means that you may wait days or weeks for information you don’t necessarily need. Another way to check an applicant’s background is by using online people search databases. Doing a self-search, you can find: Sexual assault offenses History of bankruptcies Judgments Address history Marriage records Forget the Myths and Find the Facts with Comprehensive Tenant Screening With all the myths and scammers out there, renting out your property may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Placing the wrong tenants in your property can mean spending thousands on damages or eviction proceedings, but almost all these screening myths can be countered with a thorough vetting process. A good property manager not only has the tools to pull all the proper checks on an applicant, but they know how best to identify scammers, weed out the bad apples, and properly vet the good applicants. True Property Management uses a thorough 3-tier screening process, checking a prospective tenant’s credit, background, and eviction history. They verify income and employment, speak with past landlords, and personally meet each of the applicants. Because of this in-depth screening process, their eviction rate is less than 1%. Employing a property manager may cost a little extra, but it will save you thousands in the long run…not to mention the time, energy, and headaches you’re …

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