Today we’re talking about the life cycle of a tenant. We share this from the perspective of a Professional Property Manager, but is useful for all landlords who manage their rental properties as a business. It starts with the screening process before the applicant even becomes a tenant. At this point, you need to get as much information as possible on that person, and if they choose to lie on their application, that’s an automatic denial. Other reasons for instant denial include evictions and unpaid rent. We don’t want to see unexplained gaps in the tenant record, either.
Professional Property Manager Advise: “Use Screening Companies”
At Apex Ventures, we use a professional screening company that provides us with background checks, credit reports, criminal checks, a complete rental history report and income or job verification. We firmly believe that no tenant is better than a bad tenant. While no tenant means you aren’t getting rent, a bad tenant might not pay rent and be damaging your property.
Once a tenant is approved, we email a draft of the lease for the tenant to review. They usually have questions, and we review the lease in detail just like we do with the property owner. Most tenants want to know how they can pay rent. We accept ACH transfers from their checking account to ours. They can also pay with a credit or debit card, a money order or a personal check. Visa money orders can be electronically transferred from some locations as well.
After we discuss rental payment policies, we go over the maintenance request process with them so they know how to use their tenant portal. That gives us the information we need quickly and completely. The tenants are required to turn in their move in condition report within two to four weeks, and by that time we will already have photos and videos that document the condition of the property.
Provide Excellent Customer Service to the Tenant
The next opportunity to interact with the tenant is when they have a maintenance request. We will either do the requested repairs or explain to the tenant why they are not needed. We want our tenants to know we value them because we want good tenants to renew at the end of their lease. Tenant renewal is far more profitable than having turnover.
Three months before the end of the lease, we do a walk through. This helps us to make a decision on whether to offer renewal, based on the condition of the property and the owner’s desire. It gives tenants time to make any necessary corrections and we show the tenant we want to take care of the property and we want them to stay. If the lease does end, we conduct a final move out inspection and settle up with that tenant. Then we get ready for a new tenant, which is a life cycle that started already with screening and preparation.
If you have any questions about your tenants and how a professional property manager will take care of them while taking care of your property, please contact us at Apex Ventures.