Being a landlord can be rewarding, but there is a certain amount of risk involved. A tenant that is negligent with a property and rental agreement can lead to untold financial hardship and stress. Setting some reasonable minimum requirements is within the rights of landlords and can help with avoiding potential problem tenants. Here are four non-negotiable standards to consider enforcing:
1. No Past Evictions
An eviction is one of the worst black marks a tenant can have, and it paints them as a risk in any rental situation going forward. While people can change, a prudent landlord will make it a policy never to rent to someone who has been evicted. A resident screening service can help with determining if a client has ever been evicted or is embroiled in legal proceedings with a former landlord.
2. New Tenants Monthly Income Must Be Three Three the Expected Rent
The standard of requiring the renter’s income to be three times as much as the stated monthly rent is a reasonable expectation and a policy that’s been enforced by many landlords. Banks, lenders and financial institutions have also used this standard with great success. Enacting this requirement can help landlords to connect with quality new tenants who will be able to pay their rent on time on a consistent basis.
3. At Least 3 Positive Character References
Many savvy consumers seek referrals, recommendations and positive reviews of businesses before using their products or services, and screening potential new tenants should be no different. If an applicant cannot provide at least three positive character references from past landlords, employers or educators, this is a big red flag.
4. No Criminal Record
A criminal past is another non-negotiable for landlords looking to minimize their stress and maximize profits. Sure, people can change, but renting to someone with a criminal record remains a huge risk. Make use of a quality tenant screening service to determine if an applicant’s record is clean.
Lastly, minimum requirements should be clearly stated in the rental ad, on the application and told to prospective new tenants in person so that they are clear on what is expected of them. That way, if they must be eliminated due to not meeting these standards, it will not come as a surprise.