The goal of every landlord is finding and retaining high-quality tenants. If you own a rental property, finding someone who will take care of your investment can become a challenge. However, if you approach your rental real estate like a business, you can save yourself a whole lot of aggravation. You just need to follow a few essential rules about owning investment real estate.

5 Rules That Will Help You Find the Best Tenants

1. Know the Law & Tenant Rights – There are federal, state, and local laws that govern the landlord-tenant relationship. For example, there are special classes that are protected from discrimination. You can deny a person based on their credit or work history, but not because of their race, religion, gender, age, family status, or national origin.

2. Know Where to Advertise – The best advertising is word-of-mouth. So, ask family, friends, and existing tenants for help. Additionally, while many old-school marketing methods still work, except that you will need to broadcast online. There are many online sites, both national and locally targeted, where you can post. Also, share the availability on Facebook and Twitter.

3. Use a Formal Application Process – A rental application will collect a lot of personal information about a prospective tenant. You should use a separate form to gain permission to run a credit and background check, even if there is a statement within the application. Make sure you perform due diligence. Check the credit, employment history, past landlords, references, and the whole nine yards,

4. Wait for the Deposit to Clear – Insist of the first month’s rent and security deposit to be made with a money order or cashiers check. However, if you accept a personal check, don’t turn the keys over until the check clears. Once a person is living in the rental, it is very hard to get them out. You can literally have someone living in your rental for months rent free.

5. Use a Lease Agreement – Make sure you use a formal lease agreement and have written rules for your tenant. More importantly, stick to the agreement. Have high standards for your tenant and yourself. Setting expectations early is the best way to have a good experience with a tenant.

Do you have questions? What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about how to find the best tenants for your rental property or a related topic, please contact us.