Recently, I have had a number of buyers interested in purchasing investment properties. Not the kind to flip, but the kind to rent out. In the state of New Jersey, the tenant has all the rights and it is a very difficult, lengthy process to remove a tenant from a property, so it is always best to find the right tenant from the start. There are a few things that are very important to note when reviewing applications as a landord. Here are some of my suggestions:
- Make sure the tenant sees the property and is comfortable with the layout, etc. You can do this through in person showings for people who are local or even Skype or FaceTime for people coming from out of the area.
- Be sure the tenant fills out an application. The application provides information that can be very useful like previous rental history and references.
- Have the tenant fill out a screening survey. The cost is typically around $40 and includes a background check, credit check, as well as an eviction history.
- In addition, you want to get a sense of their financials. If circumstances make it difficult for them to pay rent one month, do they have reserves to cover it?
- Finally, you want to go over the lease with the tenant line by line to be sure they are very aware of the nuances specific to this particular lease. Some landlords do not allow pets or smoking. Some allow use of the backyard with a week’s notice (if property is owner occupied). There are many different scenarios that should be laid out upfront so there is no miscommunication down the road.
- Most importantly, call me! I’m happy to help you find the right tenant!