Today we are providing a quick guide to tenant screening for landlords and investors. We’re sharing some Albuquerque property management secrets that can help you with developing a proper screening process.
Insist that anyone who is 18 years of age and over submit a separate application. People will complain about this once in a while because it’s expensive to pay several application fees. However, you need to make sure every adult is subject to a full credit check and a background check. Don’t back down on this requirement.
We always recommend that you avoid co-signors. If your property is properly priced and in good condition, you can be selective with tenants and you won’t have to accept tenants who need co-signors. They present a whole new set of problems that you should try to avoid if possible.
Check rental references the right way. If your applicants give you a reference and it’s an apartment building, you’ll know when the business phone is answered that you’re talking to a credible landlord or property manager. For single family homes, don’t just call the number that was given and start asking questions about the tenant. Instead, ask questions about their rental property. Say that “you’re calling for information about the rental property”. Ask that way and if the person on the phone seems confused, or is not sure why you are calling, you can probably assume you’re talking to a friend or family member and not a real landlord.
Finally, we recommend you avoid Section 8 or subsidized housing if possible. We realize that many people run into difficult times in their lives and need assistance from time to time, but when managing a property we believe that keeping things simple and avoiding unnecessary problems is key. Typically when you accept subsidized tenants, you are essentially trading on time rent payments for excessive repair costs. You will never come out ahead in the end. Quite often the repairs that Section 8 tenants leave for you to handle will likely far exceed any value of those timely rent payments.