Landlord’s may at times feel rushed to lease their property quickly, looking to offset a mortgage payment or prevent lost rent. And that is completely understandable. No one wants to bear the brunt of covering expenses when they can be covered by someone else – such as a mortgage. However, in their quest to cover the mortgage and even utilities, some Landlord’s will sacrifice on screening a tenant, looking to simply move in an able and willing tenant. And while it is tempting to get someone to move in right away, this is a mistake that has caused many Landlord’s headaches, property damage and more lost rent. And this mistake can be minimized, relatively simply! How?
First, think about what can happen without screening. You don’t know who the tenant is, besides for what they tell you. You don’t know their history of paying bills or rent, whether they just got evicted or if they caused property damage. A basic screening can even reveal most of that information. And in today’s tech advanced society, there are plenty of sites that offer a quick and reliable screening service.
Second, even when screened, some Landlord’s will accept poor credit, financials and rental history. While initially the Landlord might get a security deposit and first month’s rent to proceed with the move in, what about the duration of the lease? The screening process is used as an indicator of what to expect from a person based on their history. And sadly, many Landlord’s find out the hard way of how important it is to find well qualified tenants. They end up with months of unpaid rent, extensive property damage and court visits for eviction. In the end, the 2 or 3 extra weeks of rent that they didn’t want to lose becomes a drop in the bucket compared to what they now have to come up with out of pocket.
So, as a Landlord, don’t feel rushed to fill a vacancy. While it is important to lease a home quickly, it is also important to screen a tenant and find one that is well qualified for your property. And while there are no 100% certain guarantees, you can significantly reduce your risk by having a tenant who has a history of paying their obligations and caring for the homes they live at.