Check References and Trust Your Gut
Did you meet your tenant on appointment day? Or someone who was clearly head and shoulders above the others? When that happens it’s hard not to make an on-the-spot-decision. But take my word for it: bad idea! Make sure you see everyone who has made an appointment, and then review your notes and the applications. You really can’t cut corners here if you want tenants who will pay their rent on time, keep your income suite
clean and tidy, and respect you and your neighbours. Verify the information on the applications, including running credit checks and talking with references.
But while doing due diligence is essential, don’t underestimate the importance of trusting your gut. Being a good judge of character is a fantastic asset for a landlord. I once showed one of my properties to a young woman who was enthusiastic about the newly renovated, upmarket space. I thought she might be a good fit for the place – until I read through her application. The email address she provided started with “partygirl69.” Really? It was nice to know that she had an active social life, but I moved that application over to the reject pile.
So screening your tenants comes down to keeping your eyes and ears open. Did some prospective tenants show up in a car full of fast food bags and cigarette butts? That might be what your income suite looks like in a few months. Did others have all the necessary information at hand? Good
organizational skills probably mean the rent will get paid on time and the apartment will get the care it needs. Did one couple seem especially suited to the place or neighbourhood? If so, they may have a strong incentive to be reliable, long-term tenants.
Read more about how to find great tenants: