Developing a thorough screening process is key to becoming a successful landlord. It can be the difference between dealing with problem renters and renting your property to reliable long-term tenants. Keep the following tips in mind to find your ideal tenant.
Determine your requirements
The “perfect” tenant varies from landlord to landlord. Some prefer people who are renting a house for the first time. Others favor short-term renters. Nevertheless, landlords take into account three essential factors when choosing the right tenant:
- Income: Ideally, an applicant should have a steady income that’s at least three times the monthly rent. Falling below this criterion can make rent collection challenging for you.
- References: The last thing you want is to deal with a difficult tenant. References give you the means to check if applicants are good on their word.
- Renting history: It’s essential to know if an applicant has been evicted in the past. While this shouldn’t be the only factor to consider, data shows that evicted renters have three times as many prior evictions than tenants with clean records.
These factors, together with your rental and profit goals, will help you create a stringent screening process that’s tailor-made for your mobile home.
Create an application form
Before you put up ads for your mobile home, take your requirements and incorporate them into an application form. This piece of paper or online document will be the first stage of your screening process
The application should ask for vital information that is accurate and verifiable, including the following:
- Personal information
- Employment and income
- Residence history
- Government-issued identification
- List of people who will occupy the unit
The potential renter should sign the application to protect you from future, possible disputes.
Verify self-reported information
As a landlord, you want your mobile home to go to a renter that you can trust. You can’t take self-reported information at face value. It is your responsibility as a property manager to verify the data submitted during the application process. There are various ways to confirm information:
- Run background checks
- Check credit history
- Verify current employment
- Call references
During the verification process, take your time and be as thorough as you need to be. After all, your mobile home is an investment, and doing your due diligence can protect and safeguard its condition.
Conduct a phone interview
Before you invite successful applicants to your mobile home, conduct an initial interview first. A phone interview is a great way to gauge whether a potential tenant is a good fit, especially during this pandemic.
Be upfront about your property and your requirements so you can focus your time and attention to serious candidates.
Meet your prospective tenants
Once you have narrowed down potential renters through your rental ad and initial phone interview, it is time to invite them for an in-person meeting in your property.
Tour potential tenants and answer their questions. Talk about the good and the less than ideal. Discuss your requirements in detail and be upfront about your deal-breakers.
The first visit is also the best time to get to know the candidates better. The more information you have, the better decision you would make. Below are a few screening questions to ask:
- What is your ideal move-in date?
- Do you have pets?
- How many people would occupy the home?
- Have you ever broken a rental agreement?
If an in-person tour and meeting isn’t possible, arrange for a virtual set-up instead. These tips will help you create a virtual home tour.
The final stage
Those who are new to owning mobile home rentals are often faced with the harsh truth that there aren’t “perfect” tenants, only “ideal” ones. When it’s time to make your final decision, review your criteria and stack applicants against them. That said, don’t base your decision on qualifications alone. Trust your gut.
Renting out a mobile home in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Georgia, and South Carolina is made easier with Sundance Property Management. We’ve helped thousands of property owners like you find the ideal tenants for their rental properties.
For more information on property management, reach out to us at 513.489.3363 or email info(at)sdpmi(dotted)com today.