With real estate prices creeping up and a huge demand for rental accommodation, property investment is a rapidly expending market for people with some spare cash and a desire to maximise their income opportunities. But it isn’t always plain sailing.
If you are lucky enough to find good, reliable tenants who are willing to take care of your Montreal condo and pay the rent on time, you are on to a winner. Unfortunately, however, this doesn’t always happen and all too many landlords end up out of pocket and fighting to have problem tenants evicted. So how can you ensure you end up with reliable tenants?
Word of Mouth Recommendations
Word of mouth recommendations are always a useful way of finding good tenants. If you have a friend who knows someone looking for a place to rent, at least you have some inside information on what the person is like and whether that person is able to pay the rent. Of course it isn’t foolproof, especially if the person is only a casual Facebook acquaintance, but it’s better than letting a property to a complete stranger.
Carry Out Credit Checks
One thing you should always do before offering a place to a new tenant is conduct background and credit checks on the person. It is easy to assume someone who is smartly dressed and articulate is going to be a perfect tenant, but outward appearances can hide all kinds of nasty truths. You may belatedly discover that the well-spoken professional tenant is actually a serial scammer who owes money left, right and centre.
Once you have conducted a credit check to make sure your prospective tenant doesn’t have outstanding debts, is not an illegal immigrant, and is not wanted by the FBI for international terrorist offences, it is time to have a face-to-face interview so you can get a better sense of who the person is and make sure the accommodation is what they are looking for.
Interviews are a good opportunity to check a person out. Anyone can be polite when communicating via email or over the telephone, but body language is a lot harder to disguise. Appearance also matters and if the tenant is covered in gang related tattoos or appears to be high on something, this is your opportunity to start looking for another tenant.
Listen to Your Gut
No matter how great a prospective tenant appears to be, if something doesn’t feel quite right or anything doesn’t add up, listen to your gut instincts. It is easy to dismiss a nagging suspicion that a person is not all they seem when they are offering to pay six month’s rent in advance, but you could end up with a meth lab in your apartment or a sitting tenant who refused to pay the rent. So if someone appears to be too good to be true, they probably are.
Make sure you don’t rush the tenant finding process or you could end up out of pocket and stuck with the tenant from hell.