Finding qualified tenants is essential to the success of your Woodstock rental property. If you don’t have high quality tenants in place, you might struggle to collect rent on time. There could be deferred or unreported maintenance. You might be left with property damage at the end of a lease term.
Good tenants lead to a good (and profitable) rental experience. If you want to make sure you’re finding the best tenants, let a Woodstock property management company take care of the leasing process for you. We’ll do a more efficient job of marketing your home, screening tenants, and getting the lease agreement signed. With professional property management partners, you can expect better tenants, higher rents, and a faster leasing period – which leads to lower vacancy rates.
Here’s how Woodstock property managers excel at finding you the most qualified tenants.
Pre-Screening During the Marketing and Showing Process
Property managers know how to pre-screen a tenant without actually screening them. When interested residents call for more information or to schedule a showing, we can ask a few key questions that will tell us right away whether it’s worth our time and effort to show them your property. As we’re getting to know them, we’ll ask:
When are they thinking of moving? It’s not a great idea to waste time on tenants who aren’t ready to move for a couple of months. If your property is vacant right now, you want to attract tenants who are ready to move in within the next few weeks. It reduces your vacancy loss. It’s also a bit of a red flag if we talk to a tenant who wants to move in tomorrow. Ideally, the tenant we work with will be ready to move within a couple of weeks. This gives us a chance to prepare the property for them without leaving the home vacant for too long.
We ask why they’re moving. Usually, good tenants move because they need more space or less space. They might want a specific neighborhood, or they’re hoping to be closer to work. All of these answers are normal and natural. If a tenant tells us they want to move because they’re about to be evicted over a rent dispute, we’ll hesitate to show them your home.
We ask how many people will be moving in. Fair housing laws prevent us from asking detailed questions, but we can get an idea of how many people will reside in the home. We don’t want to rent a two-bedroom property to eight people, for example.
We also ask about pets and income and whether they’ve ever been evicted before. Once we have a set of satisfactory answers, we go ahead and schedule a showing for them.
Qualifying Rental Criteria
Sometimes, tenants will disqualify themselves.
We put together a set of qualifying rental criteria, which we provide to anyone who is interested in applying for our properties. Usually, they’ll know based on our criteria whether they have a good chance of being approved for the property. If their credit, income, or rental history does not meet our minimum standards, they often won’t bother applying. They don’t want to lose the application fee only to be denied.
By establishing and providing a set of qualifying rental criteria, we’re setting standards that every tenant has to meet. This ensures only well-qualified residents are placed in your property, and it also protects you from any fair housing complaints. We’re able to demonstrate and document that every tenant is measured against the same standards. It’s objective and consistent.
Screening Woodstock Tenants Consistently and Rigorously
The formal screening process is something that Woodstock property managers excel at. We have systems and processes in place to ensure we’re finding the most qualified tenants for your property. Everything we do is within the requirements of federal and state fair housing laws. We protect you in multiple ways during the screening process; we protect you from bad tenants, and we also protect you from the liability of an inconsistent screening process.
We automate our screening process to keep it objective and fair. Our application collects all the information we need to gather data and make decisions. Expect us to evaluate:
Income. Best practices say that tenants should earn at least three times the amount of monthly rent. Because rents have gone up so much recently, this has been a difficult threshold to meet. But, we want to be sure that the tenants we place can afford the rent we charge.
Credit. We dig a little deeper into the credit report because we know a credit score doesn’t tell the entire story. A few late credit card payments are no big deal; what we don’t want to see is money owed to former landlords or utility accounts that are in collections.
Eviction history. We don’t want to see any recent evictions and we definitely don’t want to see a pattern of evictions.
Rental references. We always talk to current and former landlords. This tells us whether the tenant performed well in past rental properties. We want to know if they paid rent on time, took care of the property, and communicated easily with property managers or landlords. We want to know if they gave plenty of notice before moving out and if the entire security deposit was returned. We always ask if the landlord would rent to this tenant again.
We make sure the application gives us permission to do all of these background checks, credit checks, and reference calling.
Landlords can screen tenants on their own, but in our experience, independent landlords either don’t screen rigorously enough or they set standards that no tenant can possibly meet.
Let a Woodstock property management company handle the screening process for you. The benefits are numerous, and you’ll end up with a better tenant. If you’d like to talk about how we can help you have a better and more streamlined leasing experience, please contact us at Clients 1st Property Management. We’ll make sure your screening of tenants contributes to a better and highly profitable rental experience.