Our online ads generate a lot of responses from prospective tenants. Great images and an enticing description will get you views. However, the downside to a successful online ad is that you also receive scam emails as well as unqualified prospects. A first time landlord often has trouble distinguishing a great tenant from a deadbeat looking for the next victim to scam. To make matters worse, tenants with qualification issues actively seek out first time landlords (they need to live somewhere…) First time landlords are often lax with their tenant verification. They are eager to have that empty property filled so the money can start flowing. Properties leased by real estate companies have less of this issue as prospective tenants know they are likely to follow uniform verification guidelines to avoid any appearance of bias. Landlords finding tenants themselves usually do not follow a strict procedure for qualifying every prospective tenant. The new landlord is also often unsure about the rules, what is commonplace and what things to be weary about. As a result, a first-time landlord is more prone to being swayed by a strong and/or likable personality and more likely to feel empathy for a person with missing work history, bad credit and missing prior landlord references. So, our first tip that will help ”narrow” the responses to your online rental ad would be to add something like the following to the ad itself: “We want great tenants! Sufficient credit, income, employment & rental references are required and will be verified for all applicants. All adults living in the property will have to submit a separate rental application. There is a $45 application fee per adult. 1 month security deposit and 1st months rent payable before move-in – no exceptions.” The suggested paragraph above may reduce the number of emails and phone calls you receive. The upside is that those that do respond will know that you mean business and will make sure your great property has equally great tenants. So, now you have an ad that narrows the prospective applicant field a bit – next time we will give you a list of 7 great questions you should have answered before ever letting a prospective tenant inside your rental. This article was written by Are Andresen of Soldsense Realty LLC. Soldsense is a real estate firm licensed in Virginia and Maryland and has an office in Vienna, VA.
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