Experienced or novice, one unit or hundreds, every landlord is susceptible to these two costly mistakes.
But anticipating these missteps can be the key to preventing income loss:
Love at First Sight
Getting excited about an applicant because they are likeable is a trap, and rushing to lease to them is a dangerous move. Sure, at first blush they seem perfect in every way, but don’t let your heart rule over your head. It’s surprising how many times that “ideal” candidate was just a well-rehearsed problem tenant.
Allowing excitement to take hold can cause a landlord to overlook that individual’s flaws, some of which will seem obvious in hindsight.
Follow the same protocol when selecting and screening each and every applicant — no matter how excited you are to have found the “perfect” fit.
The ideal tenant is one who has good credit, a good rental history, pays on time, keeps the property tidy, and follows the rules –even when you are not watching. Don’t develop a preconceived notion of what that tenant is going to look like.
It’s okay to like your tenants, but it needs to be for the right reasons.
Got it Made!
Once that “ideal” tenant moves in, it is easy to think that the tenancy will run itself. That complacency may even cause the tenant to act out over time.
Take steps to remind the tenant that they are in a rental property, and you are the one in charge. Follow the same policies every time around, like enforcing rules uniformly, going through with scheduled inspections, and staying on top of repairs.
Even a reasonably good tenant may act like a different person if their circumstances change. And the longer they are in the property and getting away with rule-breaking, the more likely the landlord will lose money.
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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.