Landlords: Easy Ways to Save Time and Money

by Chris on April 24, 2017

Got 15 minutes? Often, that’s all it takes to streamline your leasing policies and improve your effectiveness as a landlord.

Here are 3 examples:

Increase the efficiency of tenant screening by reading the rental application before running a tenant background check.

Want to do it faster? Modify the checklist below to suit your needs, and use it each time you screen an applicant. Not only will this speed the process, but it will ensure that you are treating all applicants the same:

Look for signatures at the end — after the declaration that everything is accurate and complete. An omitted signature is a deal-breaker, so you can stop there.

Breeze through the pages and note any obvious gaps in information. Are entire sections left blank? You can’t process an incomplete application.

Review any notes you have from your prequalification interview, and then read the rental application to determine if it adds up. Are the names the same? The number of proposed occupants? Does the employer info track? The income? Discrepancies signal a bad tenant.

Focus on previous addresses, and look for any gaps in the dates where the tenant is unaccounted for. Also, note any short-term leases that end at an irregular interval. These can be signs of a previous eviction. You will need to find out why that occurred before continuing with this applicant.

Stop chasing the rent. Sign up to Report Tenant Pay Habits.

Hunting down the tenant for rent payments not only is annoying, it’s a waste of time. By signing up to report tenants’ monthly rent payments, you provide an automatic consequence for late payments.

TVS compiles a database of rent payment history at LandlordCreditBureau.ca. That information is shared with Equifax Canada, a major credit reporting agency, and included in tenant credit reports. This provides major incentive for tenants to pay on time every month. An added plus: Good tenants benefit from this service by building better credit.

Conduct a tenant orientation on move-in day.

By spending as little as 15 minutes with a new tenant, you can prevent injuries and property damage, extend the life of appliances, reduce repairs, and increase tenant satisfaction and retention.

A tenant orientation is simple. Sketch out an agenda in advance so you can focus on the tenant’s questions and concerns and making your new tenant feel welcome.

Key points for orientation may include:

Emergency plans, like access through window bars, or water shut-offs if a single family;
Identifying safety concerns, including proper use of appliances and snow removal;
How to get started, like where to pay rent or how to set up utilities; and
What to do if something isn’t working.

Keep the orientation friendly and upbeat. For instance, consider handing off a copy of the house rules for the tenant’s quick reference rather than lecturing the tenant about the rules. It’s important to encourage questions so tenants understand what is expected of them. Leave on a good note so the tenant is happy with the decision to rent from you. A little housewarming gift, like sweets or a coffee mug, can do the trick.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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