Managing the Property Rental Process – Before the Tenant Moves In
How the rental process with a perspective tenant is handled can have a big effect on having a good tenant long-term. This begins with the initial advertising that a potential tenant is exposed to and ends with the tenant moving in.
- Advertising – the advertising needs to make people interested in potentially renting a property, but it should also be accurate and truly representative of the home. Otherwise, prospects will be disappointed when they actually view the home and will most likely not go through with a rental – with both their time and the time of the people showing the home being wasted.
- Get to know the potential tenants – as much as you can – prior to making a decision to move forward. Obviously, one should do the necessary checks (credit, criminal, past landlords, etc.), but you also want to make sure that they’re going to be reasonable to work with. If the “relationship” is trying during the application process – it’ll be a lot more difficult when there’s a maintenance issue while they’re living there.
- Be clear on the process from the completion of the initial application to the time they move in. Communication is key – and clear communication with make things work better for both the landlord and the tenant. Will you accept additional applications while their application is being processed, when must the lease be signed, when must money be deposited and does it need to be paid in a certain way (i.e. money order), etc. are all things that both parties should have discussed early on in the process.
- Make sure the perspective tenant understands the entire lease. Both the landlord and tenant are entering into an agreement – and both parties need to live up to their obligations. Since the landlord will better know the different elements of the lease – they should take the time to fully explain it and the various implications of the various parts of the lease.
- Manage the move-in process – It’s not uncommon to have some maintenance issues when a new tenant moves in. Sometimes the water and electric are not turned on – so it’s difficult to be aware of some potential issues (i.e. a leaking toilet). Other issues may come up that are only going to be recognized while one’s living in the home. Both sides should expect this, and both sides should know the steps necessary to get things fixed.