Last week on the Hometown Rant we broke it down for renters looking for other people to take that spare room in the house, apartment or loft. This week we’re going at it from a different angle to help landlords and property owners find trustworthy tenants for their rental property. Renters should stick around though, if you want to be the one signing the lease on the house or apartment you’ve been staking out for the last few weeks.
If you’re a landlord or property owner and you’re reading this blog, that means you’re probably already advertising your rental property online, which is a good first step. If you haven’t already posted your property up, what are you waiting for? Get on it!
Many landlords post properties on multiple websites, which can be a good idea if you want to cast a wider net, just be aware that . Dedicated rental sites lik e Hometownrent.com are nice because they only deal with renters and rental properties. Craigslist may reach a wider audience, but do you really want to rent to the guy who’s also browsing for taxidermy hamsters and old spinach wraps? Maybe not.
Once you’re online, all you have to do is sit back and wait for the applications to roll in. Then your job becomes sifting through them. But how should you decide who to rent to? Pay extra attention to certain answers on your application, particularly employment history and rental references. If the renter is a legit dude or dudette, they’ll have provided contact info for someone who can verify their legit-ness. If an applicant doesn’t provide references even when you ask, there’s probably a reason. If the renters are young college students and don’t have a source of income, you might want to get parents to co-sign, that way you’ll get reimbursed if the newfound freedom turns your house into animal house.
Another good way to screen applicants online is by looking at what they include besides the rental application that you provide. A friendly note with the application is probably a good sign. An email address like email@example.com might be a red flag. As always, never trust anyone who types in all capitals.
Of course the best option is always to meet the applicants face to face for a walkthrough of the house. Even though the internet is the future of everything, there’s no way to get a read on somebody like actually physically interacting with them. Weird right? Actually having met your tenants can also make it easier to solve whatever issues may arise later in the duration of the lease, since both parties will be more accountable to one another. If not, you might end up like this guy.
Do you have rental questions of your own? Comments? Concerns? Love letters? Hate mail? Hit us up: Hometownrant@hometownrent.com