Regardless of whether or not you’re the type of person who looks for the best in people, if you also happen to be a landlord and are situated in Kitchener, it pays to be extra careful. Good property management and paying rent on time is something most residential (long-term) tenants accomplish easily. However, it’s important to do the proper research thoroughly and in advance, so that future tenants don’t turn out to be more trouble than they’re worth.
For example, when advertising for tenants, it pays to state that you also do credit and background checks. In addition to receiving a greater percentage of qualified tenants, you’ll also be able to actually sift through their credit history and background. Proper credit checks will set you back around $20, but if you think about it, the money is well worth finding out who it is you’re actually dealing with.
The same applies to references: start with prior landlords and work your way back through all the references. Make sure to keep in mind that their current landlord might be lying to you just so they could get rid of them. Start with the previous landlord and then carefully check the rest. However, if this sounds like too much work or you just can’t be bothered, you could simply have a property management company in Kitchener do it for you.
It never hurts to check the potential tenant’s social media. For example, you can always check their Facebook profile if you’re concerned about possible pets; there will likely be a picture of them with the pet there. Also, in order to make sure the information checks out with their rental application, simply Google them.
Never skip the face-to-face interview. This is the perfect time to observe any signs that you’re being lied to. For example, be on the lookout for any of the following: volunteering to do odd jobs for you, dropping names of important people, fidgeting, changing the subject, not looking at you when they speak, incomplete answers and the like. Again, if you’re uncomfortable doing this for whatever reason, remember that there are plenty of professional property management companies in Kitchener that would be more than happy to offer these and many other services.
Pro tip: set up the face-to-face interview at the tenant’s current residence. That way you’ll be able to examine firsthand how they treat someone else’s property. If you’re also concerned about pets, this will also be the perfect time to check on that as well, as it is difficult to hide the smell of a pet.
Ultimately, it can sometimes pay to be generous and give the tenant a deal. This because of several reasons: one is that tenants will almost immediately start looking for another place to live when they think they’re overcharged. Another is that giving tenants a break is likely to not only make them happier, but stay longer as well. Treating them with respect may very well ensure your real estate investment continues to increase in value.