Picture this: your perfectly reliable long term tenant has just turned in his 30 Day Notice to Vacate. Almost immediately, your heart drops. Your fear increases as you anticipate finding a tenant who will be equally responsible and respectful of your property. Has this happened to you? We hope it has. If not, you are not getting the best tenants for your property. Elk Grove property management team, Real Property Management SAC-METRO, has a proven process that gets clients the highest quality tenants, that leaves them sad to see a tenant move out. They do not need to be sad for long, knowing that with SAC-METRO professionals on their side, their next tenant will be equally as wonderful.
Do not learn the hard way by making a hasty decision when accepting an applicant. The worst thing you can do as a landlord is to be so desperate to fill a vacancy that you lower your standards and accept someone who is unqualified. Screen your tenants carefully and thoroughly. Though it sounds pessimistic, do not give anyone the benefit of the doubt. Let the facts you discover when going through the following steps, speak for themselves.
Require an application
Elk Grove property management companies require that any person who is interested in living at your property and is 18 years old or older, must submit a filled out and signed Application to Rent. An application should inquire as to the person’s legal name, social security number, residence, previous residences, employment information, monthly monetary obligations, if the applicant has any pets, or if the applicant smokes. Always require an application fee. This fee generally ranges between $25 and $40. This fee should be non-refundable. It is needed for the landlord to check credit reports, employment verification, and rental history.
A general rule of thumb that landlords follow is to require that an applicant makes a minimum of three times the rent amount. Elk Grove property management professionals look at gross household monthly income. If your monthly asking rent is $2,200, your applicants must make a gross household income of $6,600 monthly. That is around $80K annually. Requiring a 3x income ratio gives landlords peace of mind knowing that their tenants can afford to pay rent each month, in addition to their other bills and common living expenses.
Sufficient Income Proof
The following documents should be accepted as proper income proof; two most recent pay stubs, an official offer letter printed on letterhead and signed by the hiring manager or HR manager, six months of bank statements, previous two years of tax return documents, social security statement, or a pension statement. Elk Grove property management experts should always contact the HR department or applicant’s manager to verify employment and to make sure the income proof is not forged.
Verify Rental History
In addition to verifying employment and checking credit, some of the most telling information you can gather about an applicant comes from his previous landlord. The previous or current landlord has walked in your shoes. They know first-hand if this applicant is reliable and respectful of rental properties or not. When verifying rental history, be careful of what you ask. Here is a list of questions that you can legally ask a previous landlord:
- Did the tenant pay their rent in full and on time each?
- Did the tenant ever have late payments? If yes, how many?
- Was the tenant ever served an Unlawful Detainer?
- Did the tenant take good care of the property?
- Would you rent to this person again?
Elk Grove property management firm, SAC-METRO puts a lot of weight on credit scores. And for good reason. Credit scores tell landlords if an applicant pays their bills in full and on time. A perfect credit score is 850. Do not expect your tenant to have a perfect credit score. Be leary of applicants who have a credit score under 620. If an applicant has an outstanding debt that they owe, do not accept them as a tenant. You can however, give them a Conditional Acceptance, which means they must go to the creditor and pay the debt, then bring you back a receipt that proves the debt has been paid.
Criminal Background Checks
When checking credit, Elk Grove property management professionals can also check for violent or sexual crimes committed by the applicant. Violent or sexual offenders can bring additional liability to you. Do not allow such offenders to live at your property.
Know the Laws for Elk Grove Property Management
Be careful that you do not discriminate when showing your property or accepting rental applications. Remember there are protected classes of people. The Fair Housing Act protects people from being discriminated against for their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. If an applicant states that they have a service animal, you cannot discriminate against them because of it. You also cannot require that they pay a deposit for their service animal.
How SAC-METRO Protects You
With more than 30 years of experience in property management, you can rest assured knowing that we follow a rigorous and thorough tenant screening process. We do things right every step of the way. Take the guessing and finger-crossing out of approving tenants to live at your property. Elk Grove property management professionals at SAC-METRO know how to protect you. Call us today.