Today, many homeowners are landlords. Some rent rather than sell the home they’re leaving. Others rent in-law apartments or rooms for extra income. Still others buy vacation or retirement homes and rent them to cover expenses.

If you become a landlord, you want tenants who pay the rent on time and take good care of your investment. Four things to investigate:

  • Financial Reliability. Do a credit check. You want someone without lots of debt, who always pays creditors on time. Also ask for payroll stubs or other proof of regular income. In general, rent shouldn’t be much more than 30% of monthly income. 
  • Criminal Records. Run a criminal background check. People convicted of violent crimes or drug dealing could still be threats. You might give a second chance to someone with an old conviction for property damage, but get a bigger security deposit. (Background screenings and credit checks can be covered by a tenant application fee.)
  • Landlord References. Ask for past housing information and call former landlords. Learn firsthand if people paid rent on time and were easy to deal with, and how they left the property.
  • Your Personal Reaction. Try to meet prospective tenants in person. Ask them direct questions and observe their overall demeanor. People are on their best behavior in an interview, but try to get a sense of their personality and whether you’re comfortable with them. Follow your gut.

Landlords interact with tenants on everything from rent payment to maintenance. So you want a renter you can work with in a friendly, professional manner – as well as someone who pays on time and takes reasonable care of the property.

Whether or not being a landlord is part of your next move, please contact us when you’re ready to explore opportunities in the housing market. We’re ready to help with today’s expanded financing options. We’re also happy to answer questions about refinancing your current home, or funding home improvements. Just call or email us any time…. Have a great day!

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