Your financial success as an investment property owner hinges on finding qualified tenants. The cash flow of your business depends on a regular incoming rent payment. To be profitable, you need tenants who will pay rent on time and in full, while also maintaining and respecting your home.
A Rigorous Tenant Screening
Tenant selection should be one of your top priorities as a landlord. Poor tenant qualification tends to lead to trouble down the road including payment delays, property damage, added maintenance repairs, increased vacancies, more turnover, plus possible evictions and legal battles. Be proactive and take the time to properly screen potential tenants.
Real Property Management Select uses a process proven to help homeowners find reliable tenants. Our Sacramento rental property management team has the experience and resources needed to be able to thoroughly screen applicants. We are committed to making sure our homeowners see the benefits of placing the most qualified tenants possible.
What to Verify
Combined Income – Real Property Management Select requires an application for every tenant over the age of 18. When we verify employment, we check the combined income among tenants. The income should be at least three times the rent rate.
Credit Check – A credit check can be eye-opening. It is a good way to see if tenants have a proven history of following through with their financial obligations. In the public records portion of a credit report, you can see if they have been evicted or had any judgments served against them in the past. While it is tempting to dismiss someone based on score alone, you should avoid hasty decisions. If you spot something of concern on the report, request an explanation from the applicant regarding your concerns.
Rental History – Talking with previous landlords is the easiest and best way to get to know tenants before they even move in. Discuss whether they caused damage to the property, paid rent every month, or ran into problems with the law. Rather than experiencing problematic tenants firsthand, learn from past landlords instead.
Background Check – A criminal background check is a solid way to confirm if a tenant has a history of drugs, theft, violence, or sexual offenses. The check with help you determine if a tenant might be an increased safety and security risk.
Watch Out for Costly Legal Mistakes
From Carmichael to Auburn, property management companies must follow certain laws and regulations when screening applicants. As a landlord, you can encounter numerous legal pitfalls at the local, state, and federal level. You cannot afford to be caught in a legal battle from not adhering to the law.
The Sacramento rental property management team at Real Property Management Select is extensively trained to know how to protect you when taking in applications and selecting tenants. The law continually changes, so it can be difficult to maneuver the tenant screening process alone. Our experts stay up-to-date on the rules applicable to landlords, so you don’t have to worry about understanding every law. There are numerous regulations to be aware of, including:
- The Americans with Disability Act
- The Fair Housing Act
- The Fair Credit Reporting Act
- Real estate contract laws
- Trust accounting laws
- Local city ordinances
These regulations make sure you do not discriminate against tenants based on race, gender, age, religion, nationality, or disability. Other rules require you to keep personal tenant information confidential and properly handle funds such as security deposits.
Homeowner Versus Business Owner
Selecting tenants is only the first step in establishing a professional landlord/tenant relationship. No matter the quality of tenants, there will be a need for future tenant interactions. Even the most careful tenants will request maintenance repairs. Wear and tear on your home is inevitable. Appliances break and systems fail. Because homes naturally deteriorate, do not let this be a source of frustration.
Once your tenants have moved in, it is crucial to operate your rental property as a business. Even if you once lived in the home, it is no longer your personal residence. This mental adjustment is necessary to maintain an orderly relationship. How you treat your tenants carries a direct financial impact on your business. The better you treat your tenants, the better the results. Be objective. Do not react on emotions. Respond to your tenants in a businesslike manner and with respect.
A Clear and Concise Lease Contract
A well-constructed contract sets you up for success. A detailed rental lease agreement is the foundation for positive tenant interactions. When both parties know their responsibilities beforehand, it reduces the chance of conflict later on.
A lease should specifically outline what your tenants can expect from you as a landlord, and in turn, what you expect from your tenants.
At Real Property Management Select, we utilize a lease contract that is designed to safeguard your property and protect you as a business owner. We take the time to explain at signing what duties fall under tenant responsibility compared to landlord obligation. Plus, our knowledgeable and experienced team makes sure to conduct signings and prepare documents in accordance with the law. We do not want you to encounter costly legal mistakes that hurt your bottom line.
What to Remember
No matter where your investment property is located, from Roseville to Auburn, property management is a complex job all across the greater Sacramento area. To be profitable, you must understand the rental industry and have the necessary resources to operate your home as a business. When selecting tenants, remember the importance of:
- Conducting a complete and thorough tenant screening process that includes a credit and background check, plus verification of employment, income and rental history
- Complying with federal, state, and local laws and regulations
- Acting level-headed, professional, and respectful at all times
- Constructing a well-written rental lease contract
The Need for a Reliable Sacramento Rental Property Management Team
The Sacramento rental property management team at Real Property Management Select is trustworthy and dependable. Our hassle-free leasing cycle is proven to help landlords increase their cash flow and remain profitable. Learn more about our comprehensive list of services and put our skilled team to work for you. Call Real Property Management Select today.