In the right market environment the benefits of investing in a rental property are very attractive. However, being aware of the potential pitfalls is an essential part of making this type of investment a success. Researching and subsequently purchasing a house or apartment for this purpose are, of course, the first steps in this potentially lucrative equation. Once you have acquired the property then there’s an entirely new set of challenges to face.
Finding Good Tenants: A Job for the Experts
At the very top of the list is the need to find a reliable, quality tenant to rent your property – and this is not usually a task we’d advise anyone to take on themselves. Using a reputable and experienced property management company will ensure that all the checks and balances are done for you, and many of the potential risks can be mitigated simply by following a protocol that’s tried and tested. So, even before you start thinking about the process of finding a good tenant, you need to make sure you have a good property management company in your corner. In fact, as an investor, your property manager is one of the most important people in your life to ensure the ongoing profitability of what is probably your biggest asset.
Here at Torres Turn Key, we’ve been taking care of our clients’ investment properties for a long time, so you could say we know what we’re doing! We can help you find not only a good tenant, but an excellent one – and, crucially, the right one for your particular property.
What Does a Good Property Manager Look For in a Tenant?
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of the most important attributes of a good tenant and, importantly, how you can ensure you attract the right people. The basic desirable attributes are fairly obvious, of course – good rental history, stable employment, no criminal activities underway – but the realities are far more nuanced than that.
Over the years, here at Torres Turn Key we’ve come up with a stringent screening process to sift out undesirable applicants, but, just as importantly, we know how to go about attracting the right people from the get-go. We’re renowned for our diligence and that’s why our clients choose us! Here’s what we check and look for on your behalf.
The letter of the law: It’s important that the guidelines we have set in place for our application process (designed using our many years of experience) are consistent and fair to all – in fact, the law requires it. We may not discriminate against race, religion, gender, family status, or a range of other things. It’s extremely important that the letter of the law is followed when screening applicants, and we prioritize keeping informed and up to date with the latest legislation.
Income: To be sure that a tenant is able to service the cost of their rent responsibilities, it’s important to know details of their income. A basic rule of thumb is that someone’s income should be roughly three times the amount of rent they have to pay (or their portion of it). Depending on circumstances we check pay stubs and we may also contact employers to verify employment history, performance, attendance and earnings.
Credit score: Getting a picture of an applicant’s income is one thing, but we also need to understand their credit history. Do they have a history of paying rent on time? Do they have any outstanding debts that will affect their ability to pay rent (income to debt ratio)? Have they previously been evicted from a property for non-payment? Do they have any bankruptcies against them? These are all questions that may be answered by obtaining a credit check. These incur a fee, but it’s money well spent to ensure security and peace of mind.
Verifiable references: Nothing is better than a phone call to a referee to get an idea of an applicant’s character and rental history. We not only follow up previous landlord references regarding rental arrears or malicious damage, but also professional and personal ones. We know what kind of questions to ask to gain a thorough insight into whether they are the right kind of people to place in our clients’ properties. Multiple, verifiable references are the most valuable and consistent tools we use.
Criminal history: While there are stringent regulations in place regarding discrimination against people with criminal histories (and these will differ from state to state), there are exceptions – for example convictions for drugs or violent crimes. It is an extremely delicate area and best left to the experts to navigate – that’s us!
Attracting the right applicants: Where you advertise your property can make a huge difference to the quality and quantity of applicants. It stands to reason that if your advertisement appears in higher-end publications or websites, it will attract better applicants. Ensuring we expose your property to the right people affords us the ability to make an informed and confident decision on your behalf. In addition, the wording of an advertisement needs to be carefully considered; we make sure the relevant features, benefits and criteria are included in an appealing way.
Reliable, High Quality Tenants: the Backbone of your Property Investment
As you can see, the process of attracting and selecting good tenants to rent your property can be fraught with challenges. However, the checks and balances we have set in place at Torres Turn Key ensure that we only submit well-qualified applicants for your consideration – and, in most cases, multiple options. While stringent and time consuming, the process is entirely necessary to ensure your valuable asset is respected, maintained and continues to stay profitable.
So, if you’re considering dipping your toes into property investing in Rochester, NY (and beyond), the very first thing you should do is talk to us! Here at Torres Turn Key, our expert advisors are ready to take you through the process of renting out your property step by step. We’ve got many years of experience and we’re committed to delivering a high quality service to help you reap the benefits from your asset. Please feel free to get in touch anytime and we’ll be happy to help – no matter what stage of the process you’re at.