A Wise (and Profitable) Tip about Tenant Selection

Whenever a real estate investor makes an investment in rental property and becomes a landlord there is always more for the investor to consider than just buying the rental property. Once the deal is closed and the keys are handed over, the real estate investor also becomes the landlord who must also maintain tenants in the building.

If the investor did his or her homework when purchasing a rental property, then inherited tenants shouldn’t become an issue. Tenants are in the building, paying their rent on time, and otherwise not causing any disruptive behavior to the other tenants with household pets, visitors, or some other bazaar behavior. Fair enough.

But here’s a tip I read recently about tenant selection that might benefit real estate investors in the whole landlord-tenant-selecting process and thought it best to pass it on.

When interviewing potential tenants, be on watch out for people who show no “house sense.” You might be surprised to discover that you can eliminate up to one-half of your maintenance, repair, cleaning, and wear-and-tear costs simply by selecting tenants who demonstrate personal responsibility. After all, things seldom break by themselves, toilets don’t just stop up and overflow, window screens don’t just tear, and walls and doors don’t inherit holes overnight.

As a landlord, naturally, you have to evoke your own set of criteria for selecting or rejecting tenants by whatever means you have in place to run your real estate investment business in a profitable fashion. But here’s the idea. Don’t let your haste or desperation to fill an empty unit allow you to turn a blind eye to the people you are letting into your units. I have always embraced the motto that that it is far easier and less costly to get a tenant in than it is to get a tenant out.

The bottom line for all real estate investors (especially new real estate investors becoming a landlord for the first time) is not to lose sight of the fact that as there are low-maintenance as well as high-maintenance rental properties, so there are also low-maintenance and high-maintenance tenants. Here’s to your real estate investing success.