When you have cleaned out and spruced up your property, and it’s ready to go on the rental market, you’ll need to develop a good way to qualify potential applicants who show an interest in the house. Remember to use a qualifying criteria form so the potential applicant understands up front what is required to move into one of your units. Providing that form is the best way to get started on the qualifying and screening process.
The qualifying process must always be legal. You have to be careful to stay within the fair housing laws that we discussed in a previous blog. If you need more information on those fair housing laws, check out our blog on the topic or give us a call. We can also help you develop a statement of qualifying criteria.
When you show the property, make sure you highlight all the amenities you have, such as the washer and dryer, any patio or outdoor space, dual sinks and other extra features that help your property stand out from the competition. If the prospective applicant is interested in your house and you feel that the tenant may be qualified, the next step is to complete the rental application. The application is critical and forms the cornerstone of your tenant file. If you need to evict the tenant or you have to report money owed to a collection agency, you’re going to need that application. Make sure it’s filled out completely and signed.
Once you have a completed application, you have the option to collect an application fee. The fee should adequately cover the cost of a credit report as well as the time you have to spend conducting the screening and the background check. At Cape Shore Property Management, our application fee is $50, and that’s pretty standard.
Now that you have the application and you’ve collected the fee, it’s time to begin the screening process, which is an essential part of closing the deal.
The best way to ensure your investment is protected is to pay close attention to your qualifying process. You want to find the best tenant for your unit, and you want to begin qualifying that tenant immediately. If you have any questions about what to do, please contact us at Cape Shore Property Management.