Most of the homes that I manage are those of first time landlords, and I always assure my clients that there is never a question I haven’t been asked before.  What’s the one question I’m asked every day?  That’s easy - How do I avoid a disaster tenant?

The biggest advice I can give is to make sure you hire a property manager to rent the property for you (and yes, of course choose Avenue).  I can’t tell you how many times I have taken over management of a property that a landlord leased themselves, and the tenant has never paid rent, or is consistently late each month.  The best way to avoid this situation is to hire a professional with solid experience in finding good tenants. 

Tenant screening is key to everything.  Make sure a credit check and background check are performed, employment verification is completed, and rental references are called.  There are certain red flags that us property managers look for in applicants, and a thorough tenant screening will help find the most qualified tenants.

Another way to avoid a nuisance tenant is to maintain a good relationship with them.  Treating a tenant with respect will go a long way, and their appreciation will show in the way they care for the home.  Address any legitimate maintenance requests in a timely manner, and keep your tenant updated on when the items should be completed.

Be sure to leave the house in good shape before it is rented to your new tenants.  A fresh, clean, well cared for home is going to attract the best tenants, and encourage the tenants to take care of the property.

I understand the fear of allowing complete strangers move into what is likely one of your biggest investments.  However, just following a few simple steps during the process can lead to a much more pleasant land-lording experience, and avoid those disaster tenants.