At HomeSeekers, we have managed single family homes since 1977. Today we are talking about finding a tenant, which is the most important and often the most difficult thing for a property manager to do. It’s too easy to be a nice guy or to trust someone because you want to believe their story. Everyone likes helping other people but in this business, you can’t do that. It’s hard to tell people no, but it’s often required.
The most important tool we use when screening to find the best tenant is an applicant’s credit history. A fast rule we have in place is that a credit score of at least 600 is required in order to rent one of our homes. Sometimes, an owner can talk us into accepting someone who has a score of less than 600 if they pay the first month’s rent, last month’s rent and a security deposit. Otherwise, tenants with poor credit scores often create problems. If someone is not interested in maintaining good credit, chances are good that person is not going to be the best tenant.
We also collect a criminal and civil history nationwide. If someone has been evicted before, we know that person is not going to be a good tenant for us. We are very clear that we won’t accept pedophiles or people with extensive criminality in their backgrounds. We look closely when we’re making a decision.
Selecting a tenant isn’t strictly a science. You cannot make a decision based only upon written criteria. It’s somewhat of an art form. We like to get a feel for tenants and then make a decision. Sometimes, the best tenants maybe had a foreclosure or their credit was less than perfect because of a divorce, an accident or an injury. These are tough decisions that need to be made, and we’re good at it. We’ve been doing this for many years and a lot of our tenants have been with us for years. We love our tenants and we believe in maintaining long term, mutually respectful relationships with them.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at Home Seekers. We’d be happy to tell you more.