Finding tenants for your rental property in California can be one of the trickiest parts of investment real estate. Reliable renters can reduce the need to find new tenants and protect you from vacancy costs. Good renters who want to extend their lease also give you the opportunity to negotiate a higher rent cost.
The key to preventing bad tenants from moving in is the kinds of strategies you use throughout the screening process.
Ask the right questions
Asking questions is an excellent way to learn more about someone. However, you have to practice care in deciding which questions to ask prospective tenants. This is because the Fair Housing Act prohibits illegal questions based on a person’s race, gender, sexual orientation, disability and other conditions. According to The Motley Fool, you can ask questions about why they wish to move from their current residence, if they can afford your costs and whether or not they have pets.
You can also ask permission to contact former landlords and whether or not a prospective tenant has recently filed for bankruptcy protection. Questions about pending criminal charges, past evictions, income stability and the number of people planning to move in can help you make a confident decision about how to proceed.
Outline your expectations
Another helpful way to encourage good tenants to rent your property is to clearly outline your expectations. Discuss the terms and conditions in your contract and the consequences of a broken lease agreement. Inform prospective tenants of how you will proceed with an eviction if they do not honor the contractual agreement in place. Outlining your expectations from the start can encourage your tenants to abide by your terms and avoid unruly behavior.