Maximizing return on investment at your commercial property begins with minimizing risk using best tenant screening practices. Good tenants provide unmistakable financial benefits. These advantages include paying rent on time, keeping good care of your property, and having a tendency to stay put for an extended period, when happy with conditions. The worst tenants are a drain on profits and have such behaviors as consistently being late with rent, destroying property, and breaking their lease agreement months ahead of schedule. Diligence during the tenant screening process can help to ensure that you welcome the best tenants onto your property.

Red Flags to Watch For

From the moment communications with a potential tenant begin, the savvy property manager will be alert to “red flags.” A red flag may be something as concrete as a telling answer to a question or an overall gut feeling. These should never be ignored, but they should be backed up with concrete research. It may be a red flag if the tenant:

  • Leaves noticeable gaps on the application
  • Asks to pay rent in cash
  • Talks about roommates but asks for a lease with their name only
  • Puts information about past addresses that doesn’t match their tenant history

Ask the Right Questions

Experienced property managers know that screening tenants is a crucial process that should never be handled haphazardly. In the same way that a prospective tenant can say things that leave a bad impression, many people can leave a great impression that doesn’t line up with information found during background, employment, and history checks. In addition to finding out about a person’s income, ask the following questions and follow up on all with verification.

Why are you Moving?

Needing more space and moving closer to a new job are legitimate reasons to move. Reasons for moving that could be red flags include eviction, having trouble with a neighbor or landlord, and suing a former landlord.

What is your Move-In Date?

If a tenant wants to move in the next day, it could be an indication that the individual is not a responsible person. There can always be special circumstances, however. A person may need to move suddenly because of domestic abuse, a cut in pay, or an unexpected job transfer. Usually, howsever, landlords require 30 days to terminate a lease.

How Many People Will Live in the Apartment?

Property managers must be aware of health and safety risks related to overcrowding. Ideally, there will be a maximum of two people per bedroom. More people in an apartment equates to more wear and tear on your property. The best tenants don’t exceed the recommended number of people for an apartment.

Leave Nothing to Chance

Be meticulous about checking the information on and validity of checks. Follow up on employer and former landlord references by making calls. Ask for upfront payment of a security deposit. Make sure there are no mistakes on applications. When you leave nothing to chance, you increase the odds of placing the best tenants in the vacancies on your property.

Get Help from an Experienced Property Management Company

There are many aspects of property management that are more easily and efficiently handled by a property management company with extensive experience in the local area. Weaver Realty Group is such a company, providing first-class assistance to commercial property owners throughout the Florida peninsula. Among the many areas in which professional property managers can help you improve your return on investment is follow-through on best tenant screening practices. Contact Weaver Realty Group today at 904-733-0039 for top-notch property management.