Finding quality tenants can be frustrating, whether it be for a residential or commercial property. It determines the success of your investment. At the end of the day, when you purchase an investment property, you are looking for long-term tenants you can count on to take care of your property and pay rent on time. Make sure you are screening properly to save you time and money. Here are 6 ways to find quality tenants:

1. Rental History. As you are examining an applicant’s rental history, make sure you talk to previous landlords to find out how long they stayed, their payment history, and how they left the unit. References are also a good indicator of character.

2. Criminal Background. This may go without saying, but perform a background check on the applicant before signing on the dotted line. Check your state’s laws on discrimination based on criminal background, but be vigilant to protect your property. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your assets.

3. Credit Check.
This is key to see if an applicant is likely to pay their debts. Credit scores are affected by a variety of events, but one large event is eviction. A credit score can drop dramatically following an eviction. Research shows that typical renters have credit scores between 600-699.

4. Eviction History. Bottom line, you do not one someone to rent your property with a prior eviction on their record. In some cases, there may be understanding, but overall it is not a good marker for success with that particular tenant.

5. Pet Verification. Do you allow pets at your property? Make sure you address this with the applicant to ensure the pay proper fees and you can verify what kind of pet they are housing.

6. Income Verification. Beware of income inflators. Many people will lie about their income to meet the suggested ratio. Ensure you check with their employer and ask for proof of income. Typically, 35-40% of income to be spent on rent is suitable to expect a tenant to afford.

After you have screened an applicant and found the perfect one for your property, you will want to do everything in your power to keep them. You do not want another vacancy on your hands. Keep tenants happy by being open and honest about the property, be responsive to their questions and concerns, and fulfill any maintenance requests quickly. At MGR, we have an excellent marketing strategy and screening process to finding and keeping great tenants. If you are looking at this thinking it is going to take too much of your time to find a good tenant, do not settle; rather, you should work with professionals to make the most of your investment.