How to qualify long term rental applicants and find the good ones. Here’s some of the things we look for when interviewing applicants at McCormack Realty & Renters Choice Homes

1)  Get a signed consent from all the applicants to order their credit report with the three main official credit agencies after they have seen the home. These reports will how if they have ever been evicted and if they pay their bills on time. Also check their criminal background in all 50 states.

2) Ask for personal references and call all the supplied references to ask about the applicants.

3) Verify the prospect’s employment and income by looking at their pay stubs for the last couple of months and also calling the employers HR department and verifying the income and employment is stable.

4) Don’t rent sight unseen and be upfront about your expectations with any potential applicants.

5) Talk to their previous landlord ask questions like,  did they pay on time and did they take good care of the home.

6) First impressions count! Did you get a good feeling from them when you met them. If you don’t feel they’re the right fit for your home chances are they won’t be. A good property manager will know what signs to look out for and it’s always best to wait for the right tenants.

7) If you’re doing this yourself, here’s where you can view our application online so you can get an idea of the kind of questions to put on your application. Click “Rental Application” button on the left.

8) Is the rent affordable – a good rule of thumb is their net pay should be at least 3 times the rent.

9) Do they have pets if so, take a photo of their pet and the pet should be under 40 pounds and insured.

10) Did everything check out ok or did they lie? Chances are if they lied on the application they won’t make good tenants.

11) Check your HOA rules for parking and vehicle restrictions and ensure the tenants vehicles will be ok with the HOA rules

12)  Once you’ve told the applicants they’re qualified to lease your home. Ask for a non refundable rent holding deposit, which will be applied towards the rent, while you have your attorney draw up the lease.

13) Check their ID and ensure that the applicants are the ones wanting to live in your home. Sometimes parents will apply and think it’s ok for them to be on the lease with their grown up children..but not live there.  Tell them you’re only running applications on people who will be living there.

14) Don’t take regular checks or cash when asking for security deposits and rent holding funds. These should be paid by cashiers check, bank wire or money orders.

The final decision is always yours; you don’t have to say yes to applicants that don’t match your criteria.

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