Re: How can one get good renters? - Posted by Steve C., Houston
Posted by Steve C., Houston on March 06, 2000 at 17:56:24:
Any landlord can require prospective tenants to provide a recent credit report (no older than 30 days, 2 weeks is better), plus references from previous landlords or mortgage lenders, if they owned a home. Once you get the references, TALK to them. Don’t assume if the first one is OK that the rest will be. The best question to ask a previous landlord is: Would you rent to them again? If he/she hesitates (or says no), you should probably find another tenant. These are the basics, and without that you’re flying blind. Don’t be tempted by a wad of cash. It may be the last cash you will ever see from them.
If you don’t know how to interpret a credit report, a local mortgage broker may be willing to help you. Your banker could also help.
As far as finding people who will take care of the house, I have two favorite tests. They may seem lame, but if you think about it, it’s often true.
First, if you can visit them where they’re living now, even for a few minutes, you will see how they live. If it’s a mess there, they will move the same mess to your place within 30 days.
If not, and they meet you at the property in their car, casually take a look at the inside of their car. Same test: if it’s full of beer bottles and empty MacDonald’s wrappers, that’s how your house will look when they move in. It’s no guarantee either way, but it will give you an indication of how they live.