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Kansas City Landlord Tips When Searching for New Tenants

Every landlord wants renters to follow the rules, pay rent on time, and take care of their property. Unfortunately, some renters are just not good tenants. An expert property manager understands how to find a tenant quickly. They have local real estate expertise to determine competitive rental pricing, marketing skills, and training to spot red flags. Hiring a property manager is one option to find renters for your rental property. 

In addition to filling your vacancies, they may provide various property management services, including property maintenance and handling the day-to-day issues that come with rental property and tenants.

Landlord Tips

Check out the following strategies below to find the ideal renters for your Kansas City, Missouri, rental property.

1. Obey the Law

Above all, while selecting renters, the landlord must follow the law. The Federal Fair Housing Act was enacted to prohibit discrimination in housing opportunities for all people.

It is illegal to discriminate against potential tenants based on their race, national origin, religion, gender, disability, or family status. In addition, many states provide an additional layer of protection with their own set of Fair Housing Rules.

Ensure you are informed of the state’s regulations to comply with national and local laws.

2. Produce High-Quality Listings

Creating a marketing campaign with ads that convert is the first step in attracting quality tenants. Make sure that you take professional images of your rental home. Next, create a description that appeals to the type of renters you’re searching for to rent your property. For example, list the property amenities, what you expect from renters, and what they can expect from you as their landlord.

3. Be Clear About Rental Criteria

Defining your expectations in advance will save you a lot of trouble. You’ll spend less time sifting through unqualified tenants and more time researching those who could be a good fit.

Include income requirements for your potential tenants, lifestyle restrictions such as smoke-free, 55+ communities, or those with pet restrictions in your rental ads.  

tenant rental criteria

4. Meet With Candidates in Person or Online through Video Conference

First impressions may reveal a great deal. Be sure to speak with the prospects during the showing to get to know them personally.

Did they arrive on time? Were they polite, and are they considering renting the unit? Again, these are details you will only learn if you meet them in person.

Set up a video call if the prospective tenant cannot in person. A face-to-face discussion, whether in person or a video conference, can significantly impact screening.

5. Conduct a Background Check

It would be best if you did criminal background checks to keep your renters and staff secure. All prior and current criminal information is available to the public.

A criminal background check will allow you to determine if someone committed minor infractions or major transgressions. When potential renters apply for housing, be cautious when asking for personal information. Instead, check whether they have a valid ID and perform your background check.

6. Don’t Accept a FICO Score Alone

Customers of several internet banking systems may obtain free credit reports. A credit report is a vital piece of information for your screening process; however, it should not be the only type of credit check you perform on your applications.

  • Conduct a thorough credit check to find out the following: 
  • Do they regularly pay their bills on time and have a good track record to back it up?
  • What is their debt-to-income ratio?
  • Have they ever filed for bankruptcy?
  • Do they have a history of evictions?
criminal background check

7. Check Rental History With the Prior Landlord

Obtain the contact details of two or three former landlords to ensure your application process is effective. In addition, speaking with former landlords may provide insightful information to help you make your decision.

Past landlords would be the first to notify you of any problems with your potential tenants. It might be easy to take the word of an existing landlord’s claim, yet, that party may be eager to get the tenants out of their property and bend the facts.

It is vital to obtain as much information as possible, from their interactions with neighbors to notifications of previous evictions.

8. Determine Whether They Require a Co-signer

You should not dismiss someone who requires a co-signer on a lease. A first-time tenant may not have the necessary rental history.

A new employer may not offer adequate information about the prospective tenant’s wages. In this scenario, a co-signer may be the tenant’s best option.

As with the renter, you should do a comprehensive background and credit check on the co-signer. You’ll contact these individuals if the new renter fails to pay the rent on time. The co-signer is responsible, so you should handle them as if they were a genuine renter.

9. Search for Stability

A good renter is someone that has a track record of being consistent. Look for consistency throughout the screening process. For example, did the individual travel around a lot? Did they frequently change jobs?

These can be warning signs for their capacity to pay the rent or if you’ll have to deal with a vacancy sooner rather than later.

contact previous landlords

10. Contact Employers

As much as we’d all like to believe what a candidate says, it’s important to double-check every aspect. First, make sure the potential tenants include their employers’ contact information. Then, check to see whether they work for the firm they claim to work for and what their salary is.

Don’t forget to double-check with whoever you talk to at the firm. Some job seekers may have a friend or family member pretend to be their employer.

A quick internet search of the in-house colleague’s name and other firm details should be sufficient to ensure everything is correct.

11. When in Doubt, There’s No Doubt

All the screenings in the world will not be able to replace your intuition. So trust your intuition if you have doubts. Also, ensure you follow Fair Housing Laws when considering that doubt.

Under the surface of a great-looking rental application, there might be an identity theft or credit fraud worry. It is preferable to have a vacancy than a renter who may bring you problems in the future.

tips for landlords

Summary

Finding good tenants might be difficult, but if you follow these steps, you should be well on your way. Real Property Management Consultants is a respected property management company in the Kansas City metropolitan area. We understand the importance of ensuring the right tenants are placed in your properties. Therefore, we conduct thorough tenant checks to alleviate the burden on you as a landlord and ensure nothing is missed. 

We hope you found our landlord tips helpful in your search to fill your vacancies, and when you are ready to hire a property management company to manage the day-to-day operations of your rental properties, contact us! We look forward to hearing from you.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.