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What Qualities to Look For in a Long Term Rental Tenant

As a landlord, when you’re renting out your investment properties there are two kinds of tenants. There are those that come and go quickly, staying only one or two short lease durations before moving on, and those who make their home in one of your residences, often seeking longer lease terms. While the first sort often departs too quickly to learn much about them, the personalities and tenant behaviors of your long term rental tenants matters a great deal. Ideally, you want tenants who treat the property with respect, work actively with your property manager on maintenance tasks, and are a joy to their neighbors but how do you make sure that that’s who you’re getting? After all, you don’t want to end up with someone you’ll eventually have to evict for bad behavior.

If you’re looking for a long-term tenant to settle down in one or more of your rental properties, someone who will treat both you and the home with respect, the key is tenant screening. There are ways to tell how well each person or family will behave in a rented property based on their personal and rental histories. Every person you consider for a long-term lease should come up with all positive results when you check their

  • Background Check
  • Credit Check
  • Rental History
  • Job History
  • Landlord References
  • Sufficient Income
  • Plans for Residence

Running a Background and Credit Check

Before allowing a tenant to sign a long-term lease, it’s important to know exactly what you’re dealing with, including things you know someone would rather not tell you. While a background and credit check may be personal information, they will reveal important insights about someone who could potentially be living in your property for many years in the future. You’re looking for someone with a clean criminal background and a strong credit score. Both will give you a good idea of how your prospective tenant lives their life.

Rental History and Landlord References

One of the most important parts of your due diligence is to check out a tenant’s rental history. How responsible has the tenant been in the past and what do their previous landlords have to say about them? Late rent payments, evictions, and filed complaints will all show up in their official rental history, giving you an idea of how they traditionally treat rental properties. You can also call up their previous landlords to ask how they were personally. While glowing recommendations are always a plus, a tenant who left little to no impression at all is also a great sign that they left the property exactly as they found it.

Job History and Income

A persons job history is one of the most revealing details about them. It reveals where they’ve worked and, more importantly, for how long at each location. Someone who changes jobs frequently may also be unstable and might change jobs again soon, indicating that their income may also be unstable. If they do have a stable income, you should also make sure that it is at least three times your asking rent or that they have a qualified co-signer.

Plans for Residence

Your final layer of screening is a simple practicality test. Do they have reasonable intentions for how they plan to live on your property? Make sure that if they have pets, they conform to the pet clause in your lease. If they have family, that there is room for everyone in the home. If they have a job location, that your house is not an impractical distance away. In most cases, tenants will have a perfectly reasonable plan, but it never hurts to check.

If your potential tenant passes every test with flying colors, then they are a great candidate for a long term renter. Chances are that they will be well behaved, responsible, and will help your property manager keep the home in good condition for the duration of their extended stay. For more helpful landlord and property management tips, contact us today!

Is Your Vacation Rental Property Ready for the Holiday Season?

November marks the beginning of the official Holiday season, a time when families all over the world begin visiting each other for enormous shared meals and celebrations. From Thanksgiving to New Years, people will be traveling anywhere from five to three thousand miles to visit relatives and spend a few days or weeks relaxing on leftover feast sandwiches. While some people will pile into their grandparent’s spare bedroom happily, this is the best possible season for vacation rentals and competition will be fierce as families search sites like Airbnb and VRBO for cozy residential locations where they can stay without all the hassle of a busy hotel. How does your vacation rental property stand up against the local competition?

What the Guests are Looking For

The key to successful holiday vacation rental is to understand your guests and know what they’re looking for. What makes one listing superior to another is often a matter of decor, amenities, and features rather than space or even location. This means that even if your rental property is nicely appointed you could stay booked solid this season with a few simple tips and tricks.

1) Amenities and Forgotten Items

There is a very good reason why hotels leave out soaps, cups, shampoo, and conditioner and sell things like toothbrushes in the gift shop. When packing for a vacation, most people have a dozen different things on their minds and something is always forgotten. The best way to make a vacation rental home appealing is to ensure that even if your guests forgot everything but a change of clothes, they could still stay comfortably for a few days.

  • Towels (more than 5)
  • Hand Soap, Bath Soap, Shampoo and Conditioner (number of guests considered)
  • Washer/Dryer access
  • Extra Bedding (kids = accidents)
  • Anything else you think would be helpful

 

2) Professionally Maintained and Cleaned

Of course, no matter how well you arrange your vacation rental, the true mark of quality is how nicely it’s kept between tenants. Many vacation rental property owners hire a vacation rental service including cleaning and property management. A cleaning service means that no matter what you’re up to between guests, someone will always be available to clean the property between guests to the high standards of the hospitality industry. A property manager, on the other hand, can help you take care of the building itself, be on-call to help guests in an emergency, and inspect after a guest leaves to ensure no damage was done during their stay.

3) A Helpfully Stocked Kitchen

One of the reasons people choose vacation rentals over hotel rooms is the convenience of having a kitchen. This allows guests to save money on restaurant bills, store and reheat holiday leftovers, or maintain their normal diet while on vacation. One of the most helpful and appealing things you can do is to ensure that the kitchen is fully stocked with everything they won’t have remembered.

  • Pots and Pans
  • Drinking glasses and a Filter Pitcher
  • Plates and Bowls
  • Silverware and Knives
  • Spatula and Wooden Spoon
  • Salt, Pepper, and Basic Spices
  • Complimentary Snacks or Fruit

4) Host Book

The host book isn’t anything fancy, but it’s one of the most welcoming features a vacation rental property can have. It’s usually a small binder with a few pages starting with a warmly written welcoming letter from the host. Other information might include a guide on how to set up the wifi and use the TV remote, suggestions for local venues, a fire escape plan, and emergency contact numbers including your property manager for any necessary repairs during their stay.

While holiday decorations are a nice touch, the real magic of vacation rentals lies in recreating all the luxury and convenience of staying at home. You might be surprised how much expert management, amenities, and kitchen supplies make a difference for your guests. And, of course, if you need new staging pictures for your holiday property rejuvenation, talk to your property managers. They’re often experts at staging. For more vacation rental tips and tricks, contact us today!


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