Getting Tenants

12 Replies

Hello Everyone,

I am new to the forum, but I am curious to find out on how I would go about getting tenants? How would I find tenants that are fair and reasonable? What type of questions should I ask? Should there be a survey involved? or screening? What type of websites should I advertise to get tenants? Thank you.

Brian

On the most basic level, it's all about the cash!

Several sources or books will have sample applications forms. Make sure they have a good, verifible employment history. Check references with employers and prior landlords. I prefer a checking and/or savings account.

Not sure what you mean by fair and reasonable. My lease spells out my terms and obligations regarding repairs and I expect both sides to live up to it. That's fair and reasonable to me.

Meet with the prospective tenants face to face when possible and ask questions related to their work, their past living circumstances, their pets, their vehicles, questions that make you feel comfortable that they will take care of your property and pay the rent on time.

See the post about Craigslist in this forum for ideas about tenant locating websites.

With the lease, do you yourself write it up or can you find a lease application online? What does a typical normal lease say? What do you mean by a checking and or savings account? Thank you for your response.

Brian

yes I know that area well, I did a co-op for the city of providence in code enforcement and the department of inspections and standards a year or so back. Pawtucket is an interesting area too. I would be careful in providence MANY of the houses have leins on them especially on the north side. I wish you luck.

Thank you for the advice. I'm just looking in some parts of Providence. Would you know if Pawtucket is a good area to invest in? Do you do inspections for apartments? If so, what has to be up to code for the apartment to pass inspection? Thank you for your response.

Brian

Pawtucket is a decent area to invest in. The inspectors are not as anal as they are in Providence( the ones in providence have a good reason to be) Pawtucket depending on the area is somewhat more expensive then downtown. The most expensive houses tend to be right on the bus line or near the shaws market area. You should check out humbuldt st. I used to live on there. The houses need some work there, but that is probably the richest area (or at least one of the richest) Providence Inspectors are very anal because there are a lot of slum lords and slum areas. Tenats tend to take advantage of Code enforecement in that area to get free rent since the building isnt up to code. Implement a very good screening process for tenants to get rid of the deadbeats. This could include implementing an application fee that goes towards rent if selected. Obtain credit reports on the potential tenant( this can get expensive so set up multiple screening levels) Its also important to double check with their job to make sure they work there and are making the ideal pay for your rental. I also recommend staying away from the hospital areas. A lot of mental patients live on the streets there and a lot of crime is reported in that area.

If you want to know what is needed to have the apartment up to code contact George S. Farrell, Director
(401) 421-7740 ext 371

or just call the general offices and ask to be sent to Christopher Dillon. He is probably the best inspector there. Let me know if you need anything.

mike

Originally posted by "BSM":
With the lease, do you yourself write it up or can you find a lease application online? What does a typical normal lease say? What do you mean by a checking and or savings account? Thank you for your response.

Brian

Most sample forms can be found on-line or a just about any run-of-the-mill real estate investing/landlording book. Try looking at some of the links on this site or google--"lease" or "lease application" or "rental application".

I prefer that the applicant have a checking account. If a person doesn't have a checking account it's an indication to me that they are not responsible about money (may not be true, but I consider it a red flag). How are they going to send you a rent check if they don't have a checking account?

Originally posted by "GarGus":
...I prefer that the applicant have a checking account. If a person doesn't have a checking account it's an indication to me that they are not responsible about money (may not be true, but I consider it a red flag). How are they going to send you a rent check if they don't have a checking account?

Maybe I'm just a paranoid newb but - Is there a way to verify the account information is accurate? Will calling the bank and just asking work or is it more involved than that? Should there be some consent disclaimer or is the one on my application sufficient?

Originally posted by "Emdvee":

Maybe I'm just a paranoid newb but - Is there a way to verify the account information is accurate? Will calling the bank and just asking work or is it more involved than that? Should there be some consent disclaimer or is the one on my application sufficient?

I've never actually called a bank to check so I don't know how that would work. I'm happy when they can actually list a bank and an account number. If I agree to lease to them I get a non-refundable deposit to hold the property till the move-in date (once they actually move in it applies to their regular deposit and is then refundable), then I take it to their bank and attempt to cash it. That's the real test to me. At that point they haven't moved in and the deposit check is normally a significant amount.

I've had tenants (years ago) with "the check is in the mail" stories every month and I lived out-of-state. My solution was to open an account at their bank and have them transfer the rent money from their account to mine on the first of each month. I could check by phone (or on-line today) on the 2nd to see if the transfer went through, so no more sleepless nights waiting to see if the check actually arrived 5-7 days later.