Proper tenant selection is a major player in ensuring the long term profitability of a property. The tenant selection process begins right from the point of making your advertisement for the property through the final point of giving the tenant keys to their apartment. Lets review the C&M Rental Process
The advertisement for the property must reflect a number of important aspects
- It must truthfully reflect the apartment being rented. For example, if the bedrooms are small, we don’t advertise them as being large. That would simply bring in prospective tenants with incorrect assumptions as to what the apartment will look like.
- Pricing must be targeted appropriate for the location, size of the apartment, and quality of the apartment. We have a good feel for what are reasonable market rents for any apartment. If the rent is set too high, then the number of potential tenants would be too small. If too low, while the selection pool will be higher, the owner will not be receiving the proper rent for the apartment. Response rate is a good way to tell how well you have set the rent.
- The advertisement should indicate what amenities are (and are not included), including washer/dryer hook ups, off street parking, and what utilities are included in the rent.
- The advertisement should indicate what your expectations are, generally that you are looking for a long term tenant, with a 12 month lease, that takes care of the apartment.
Tenant Screening before showing the apartment
It is best to try to screen the applicants as best you can before you show the apartment.
- All applicants are required to complete an application before renting the apartment. This can be done both online (best) and in person. The application includes critical information such as income, references, and personal tracking information such as phone numbers, email addresses and their social security number. This information is key in determining if an applicant is a good prospective tenant.
- Potential tenants can sign up for an appointment both online and over the phone. Phone applicants are pre-screened to include such information as income, have they been previously evicted from an apartment and why they are looking for a new apartment. If the answers meet set criteria, then the tenant is set up with an appointment.
Tenant Screening after showing an appointment
- Depending upon the number and quality of the prospective tenants that show up, we try to narrow down the selection to 1 – 3 people.
- The in person showing often tells a lot about a prospective tenant. Their general demeanor, cleanliness level, and sometimes you can get a feel for their level of income as well.
- All information on the tenant application is reviewed for those selected as potential tenants to ensure veracity of the information.
After selection of tenant
- Tenants are required to provide a $ 200 non-refundable deposit to hold the apartment (take it off the market). This must be done immediately to ensure the tenant is really serious.
- Before tenants are provided keys, they must pay their full 1st months rent and security deposit.
- At time of giving the keys, the apartment is reviewed with the tenant to ensure tenant agrees with the current status of the apartment
During occupancy – Maintenance & Payment Issues
- We encourage tenants to report immediately any maintenance issues. Fixing issues sooner rather than later often saves the owner money and makes for a better living environment.
- Some tenants will make unreasonable maintenance requests. Boundaries must be set on what is and is not reasonable.
- Depending on the location of your rental property, it is often common for your tenants to be living paycheck to paycheck. If tenants were savers, they would be home owners. For this reason, late payments from time to time will happen. We encourage tenants to let us know when they will be late, how much and when they will be paying. If the tenant gives us a plan and sticks to it, that’s critical.
Note: Some property managers like to flip tenants out of apartments. This drives up costs for the owners both in placement fees and lost rent. We prefer to find and keep long term tenants. A profitable property for the owner is critical. We want the owners to be happy with our management and have profits with which to grow their portfolio!