The relationship between a tenant and a landlord is distinctly different from the relationship between a customer and a seller. When it comes to leasing out your property, the customer is not always right. Rather, it requires mutual understanding and good expectation management.

Choosing the right tenant for your property is part of taking care of your investment. You have to be smart and weigh things well before signing off that lease contract.

Here are some of the pointers I can share to help you with this:

Advertise strategically

There are different online platforms now where you can place your ads. However, you have to choose the places that attract the right prospects.

For example, if you are targeting college students, then you may want to consider advertising in student hubs. If your property is in the higher price range, then make sure you are tapping the can-afford market.

Conduct personal interviews and background check

An interview should be considered a must. Prepare a list of questions to ask the interested tenant such as their source of income, length of employment, the reason for leaving their previous home, and other relevant information.

At the same time, try not to make them feel like you are interrogating them. You also do not want to make them feel uncomfortable. A good tip for this would be to prepare a form that they can freely fill out.

It could be helpful to ask for the contact information of their employer or previous landlord too.

Be transparent about your ground rules

Keep in mind that your criteria should not be limited to the tenant’s ability to pay. You should also choose a renter who will agree with your rules. After all, your relationship will be a matter of meeting each other’s expectations.

Determine the things that you would consider to be unnegotiable and those that you can be flexible with. Remember that you cannot expect to find a tenant who would tick all the boxes. You should leave some room for discussion.

Do your research on governing laws

While it is good that you have your own set of rules, do not forget that the government has its own set of laws governing rental business practices. For instance, UK laws have certain regulations on rental pricing and anonymity.

It may be worth asking a lawyer to draft or review your lease contract too.

Do not rush

You might have that urge to fill your property and start earning right away, but finding the right tenant is something you cannot rush.

If you sell a bicycle to someone, you can take the money and the buyer can happily scoot away with the bicycle, never needing to see each other again. With a rental business, you have to keep in mind that once you accept a tenant, you will also bind yourself to the contract.

Be wise and patient. If you keep getting unsuitable potentials, then re-assess your advertising and try to do a different approach.

Before you go…

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