Landing the right tenant is crucial for landlords in Nova Scotia who are looking to maximize their profits and grow their rental business. A great tenant not only pays rent on time but also takes care of the property, alerts the landlord to maintenance issues in a timely manner, and rents long-term. However, finding and attracting the right tenant can be a difficult process that requires a well-designed strategy and an effective tenant screening solution.
At True Acre Properties, we believe that effective tenant screening is a critical skill that all landlords should possess. In this quick guide, we will provide you with some tips and best practices to help you screen potential tenants and attract quality, long-term renters in the Nova Scotia.
Identify the attributes of a quality tenant before designing your tenant screening process, it’s important to consider the attributes of the kind of tenant you’re looking to attract. A quality tenant possesses several key qualities, such as a stable job, the ability to afford rent without issue, a clean criminal record, great references from other landlords, and a responsible attitude towards the property.
Create a targeted advertisement your tenant screening process should begin with effective marketing. To attract the right kind of tenants, you need to create a targeted rental ad that includes key information about the property, the rent, the amenities, and your leasing policies. By doing this, you can save time on the screening process and attract quality tenants who are a good match for your property.
When creating your rental ad, be sure to include the following information:
- The amount of rent you are charging.
- The rental features of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
- The amenities that set your property apart, such as a quiet neighborhood, a yard, or proximity to nightlife and public transportation.
- Any other move-in costs, such as a security deposit or a pet fee.
- Important policies that your lease may contain, such as your pet policy or any restrictions you have in place.
Pre-screen prospects once your marketing campaign has launched, prospective tenants will contact you to inquire about the property. At this stage, it’s important to ask them some key questions to pre-screen them and weed out potential red flags early in the process. You can also meet prospects in person during the showing to get a better sense of their character and suitability as a tenant.
Some important questions to ask prospects during the pre-screening stage include:
- Why are you moving?
- When are you looking to move?
- Does your current landlord know that you’re looking to move out soon?
- Do you have a job and how much are you making per month?
- How many people will be living with you?
- Have you ever been evicted before?
- Will you provide authorization for credit and background checks?
Verify the prospect’s information once a tenant has provided satisfactory answers at the pre-screening stage, it’s time to require them to fill out a rental application form. One of the first things to verify in the rental application form should be where the prospect is working and how much they are making. This will help you determine whether the tenant is honest about their income and whether their references are telling a consistent story.
Talking with prior landlords is one of the most important steps in screening tenants is to talk with their prior landlords. Current landlords may be motivated to lie in order to get rid of a problem tenant, but prior landlords have no such motivation. Ask about the tenant’s reliability in paying rent, whether they caused any property damage, how they got along with other tenants and neighbors, why they left, and whether the landlord would rent to them again. This information can give you valuable insights into a tenant’s behavior.
Running a credit and background check is a key step in tenant screening is running a comprehensive credit and background check. This can reveal information such as the tenant’s credit score, account history, prior evictions, criminal record, social security number verification, and national sex offender check. You may also want to have a phone conversation with the prospect to get a sense of their personality and communication skills.
Make a final decision once you have gathered all the necessary information, it’s time to make a decision about whether to accept or reject the prospect. If you accept them, be sure to notify them promptly. If you reject them, it’s best to do so in writing to avoid any potential lawsuits. Keep in mind that it’s illegal to reject a prospect on the basis of their race, color, nationality, gender, religion, or any other protected class under the Fair Housing Act.
In conclusion, an effective tenant screening process is a must-have for property owners in Nova Scotia when looking for quality, long-term tenants while protecting your investment.
However, if you find this process daunting, True Acre Properties is here to help. We are a professional and reliable property management company in Nova Scotia that can help you achieve your goals.
Our team of experts can help you with everything from finding the right tenants, collecting rent, and managing maintenance issues, to creating a marketing strategy, increasing profitability, and growing your investment portfolio.
Don’t let tenant screening become a hassle. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve stress-free property management and maximize your rental income. Contact True Acre Properties for professional and reliable property management in Nova Scotia.