How to Find Good Tenants for Your Rental Properties

Learn practical strategies — from creating compelling rental listings to establishing strong tenant screening practices — all aimed at attracting and securing high-quality tenants for your rental properties.

By
Gemma Smith
|
Last Updated
August 10, 2023
How to Find Good Tenants for Your Rental Properties

Finding good renters is the cornerstone of successful property management. As an experienced property manager or owner, you understand the profound difference that quality tenants can make in your rental property's smooth operation and profitability.

Attracting these ideal tenants — those who pay rent on time, respect the property, and foster an excellent landlord-tenant relationship — requires a well-defined strategy and a comprehensive understanding of the rental market.

In this guide, we’ll provide you with practical strategies — from creating compelling rental listings to establishing strong screening practices — all aimed at attracting and securing high-quality tenants for your properties.

As we dive deeper into these topics, you'll discover the benefits of Azibo’s lease generation offering and how it can enhance your property management experience. Stay tuned as we unpack this wealth of knowledge to assist you in mastering the process of finding good tenants.

What makes a good tenant?

A good tenant can be a property owner's greatest asset, and understanding what constitutes an ideal renter is key to finding good tenants. Several characteristics typically signify quality tenants, each of which contributes to a smooth landlord-tenant relationship and ensures the well-being of your investment property.

Financial responsibility is at the forefront of these traits — a good tenant has a stable monthly income, a solid credit score, and a consistent track record of paying rent on time. Beyond financial stability, good tenants also demonstrate a high degree of responsibility. They adhere to the terms of the lease agreement, promptly report maintenance issues, and maintain the property clean, reducing the potential for unnecessary wear and tear on your rental unit.

Furthermore, respect for the property and consideration for neighbors are indicators of a tenant's family status and social responsibility, making these factors equally important. Property managers can better tailor their tenant screening process and rental applications by understanding these traits to attract and identify high-quality tenants.

Factors you can't use to judge a tenant

When screening potential tenants for your rental property, making decisions based on fair, unbiased, and legal criteria is crucial. The Federal Fair Housing Act and similar laws in many states prohibit discrimination based on specific protected categories. Here are the factors you absolutely cannot use to judge or reject a prospective tenant:

  1. Race or color: You cannot judge or refuse a tenant based on their race or skin color.
  2. National origin: Discriminating against potential renters because they come from a particular country, have an accent, or because of their ethnic background is prohibited.
  3. Religion: A tenant's religious beliefs or practices cannot be a reason for rejection. This includes any global religions or lesser-known faiths.
  4. Sex or gender: You cannot refuse a tenant based on their sex or gender. This includes gender identity and expression.
  5. Familial status: This pertains to the presence of children under the age of 18 in a household. Whether a tenant is a single parent, pregnant, or in the process of securing custody of children, they cannot be rejected based on these factors.
  6. Disability: Whether physical or mental, a disability cannot be a reason to deny a prospective tenant. Furthermore, reasonable accommodations must often be made to assist disabled tenants, such as allowing guide animals in a no-pets property.
  7. Sexual orientation: In many states, discriminating against someone because of their sexual orientation is illegal. This means you cannot reject someone based on their LGBTQ+ status.
  8. Age: Some local and state laws prohibit age discrimination, especially against the elderly. However, this does not apply to senior housing.
  9. Marital status: Whether someone is single, married, divorced, or widowed cannot be a determining factor in your tenant selection process.
  10. Public assistance: Rejecting potential tenants because they receive public assistance, including housing vouchers or food stamps, is illegal in many jurisdictions.
  11. Veteran or military status: In some regions, discriminating against someone based on their veteran status or current military obligations is prohibited.

It's essential to familiarize yourself with federal fair housing laws and local or state regulations specific to your area. Beyond the legal requirements, fair and unbiased tenant screening is simply the right thing to do, ensuring that all potential tenants are given an equal opportunity to rent a property. Always base your tenant decisions on legitimate factors like rental history, credit scores, and references, ensuring a fair process for all.

What can a landlord do to attract the ideal tenant?

Attracting the ideal tenant is a process that involves several strategic steps. Property owners and managers must present their rental properties in a way that appeals to potential renters:

  • Keep the property in good shape: A clean, well-maintained property with working appliances and up-to-date safety features can generate more interest among prospective tenants.
  • Set a competitive price: Consider the rental history and market trends to avoid setting a price that’s too high or too low. 
  • Effective marketing: Leveraging both online and offline channels to advertise your rental unit broadens your reach, making your property visible to a broader range of potential tenants. Your rental listing should highlight the unique features of your property and the benefits tenants would enjoy, like proximity to amenities or a pet-friendly policy.

As a landlord, conducting due diligence in these areas can go a long way in finding quality tenants and ensuring that your investment property doesn't remain vacant for long.

4 tips for finding good tenants for your rental units 

1. Effectively (and accurately) advertise your rental unit

Effectively advertising your rental unit is a significant step towards finding good renters. The rental listing serves as the first impression for a prospective tenant, making it essential to craft compelling and clear listings.

Start by capturing high-quality, clear photos of your property. Images that showcase the property's natural light, good shape, and unique features can considerably increase interest. Remember, the rental listing is not just about the property itself but also the lifestyle it offers. Consider hiring a professional photographer to capture high-quality, compelling images. 

Highlight nearby amenities, the property's family status, like its suitability for families or singles, and any unique features like energy-efficient appliances or a private backyard. A detailed description accompanying the photos can provide prospective tenants with a clear understanding of what to expect, including the rental price, lease terms, and any policy on pets or smoking.

Being transparent about these details upfront can attract potential tenants who fit your property well. With the right mix of compelling visuals and comprehensive information, your rental listings can become a powerful tool for finding good renters for your properties.

2. Create a robust tenant screening process

Establishing strong screening practices is integral to finding good tenants for your properties. By implementing a comprehensive tenant screening process, you can filter out unqualified applicants and increase the chances of securing high-quality tenants.

A thorough screening process should include credit checks, eviction history checks, and criminal background checks. Reviewing the prospective tenant's rental history, contacting previous landlords, and verifying their monthly income are also advisable to ensure financial responsibility. Adhering to the guidelines set by the Fair Housing Act, these criteria should be consistently applied to all prospective tenants to maintain fairness and avoid discrimination.

With access to comprehensive tenant screening reports, including credit checks, criminal background checks, and eviction records, you can make well-informed decisions and choose tenants who meet your criteria.

Azibo’s tenant screening services include a credit check, criminal background check, and eviction report. These services are free to landlords and property managers, with applicants paying a one-time fee. The credit reports offer insights into applicants' financial stability, while the criminal background checks encompass history across all 50 states, OFAC terrorist watch lists, most wanted lists, and sex offenders lists. Additionally, Azibo's eviction records ensure you have visibility into any previous eviction history or judgments. Azibo simplifies the tenant screening process, making it a valuable tool for finding the most reliable and trustworthy tenants for your rental properties.

3. Collect and manage tenant applications online

Setting clear and comprehensive applicant criteria is pivotal in finding good renters. It helps ensure you welcome responsible, financially stable individuals into your properties, fostering a positive landlord-tenant relationship. With a robust screening process and well-defined applicant criteria, you can secure reliable tenants who meet your property's requirements and minimize property management issues in the long run.

Online tenant screening services offer a seamless and efficient solution for landlords and property managers seeking the best renter for their properties. Azibo's user-friendly online rental application collects all the necessary information, providing a holistic view of applicants' qualifications. 

4. Set expectations upfront in your lease agreement

Once you've found the perfect tenant, the next step is to set clear expectations upfront, which is important in establishing a successful landlord-tenant relationship.

A transparent and comprehensive lease agreement is the foundation for outlining the rights and responsibilities of both parties. You provide a solid framework that prevents misunderstandings and conflicts by clearly stating the terms and conditions, such as rent amount, due date, lease duration, and additional policies or restrictions.

It's equally important to set boundaries regarding maintenance responsibilities, pet policies, noise regulations, and any other specific rules relevant to your property. Discussing these expectations at the start of the tenancy ensures that both parties are on the same page, promoting a harmonious living environment and minimizing potential disputes.

With a clear lease agreement and open communication, you establish a positive tenant-landlord dynamic and pave the way for a mutually beneficial relationship throughout the tenancy.

Discover Azibo's lease generation solution

Introducing Azibo's new lease generation offering that aims to revolutionize the leasing process for landlords and tenants alike. This innovative tool makes creating custom leases a breeze, simplifying the process from start to finish.

Our platform provides state-specific rental lease agreements that are secure, legally binding, and enforceable, ensuring compliance with relevant regulations. Landlords can customize leases by accessing up-to-date templates for all 50 states to meet their specific needs while providing legal protection.

This offering eliminates the time-consuming task of drafting leases from scratch, saving landlords and tenants valuable time and effort. With our integrated platform, lease generation becomes seamless, and landlords can quickly transfer information from tenant screenings and applications to lease documents, reducing the risk of errors.

By providing this efficient and user-friendly solution, we prioritize the protection of both landlords and tenants, fostering a transparent and mutually beneficial landlord-tenant relationship. Experience the convenience and peace of mind our new lease generation offering brings to the leasing process.

Ready to find your next quality renters?

Mastering finding good renters for your properties is key to successful property management.

By implementing effective strategies, such as creating compelling rental listings, establishing strong screening practices, setting clear expectations upfront, and leveraging Azibo's new lease generation offering, you can attract high-quality tenants and ensure a smooth and profitable landlord-tenant relationship.

From the initial advertising phase to tenant screening and lease agreement management, Azibo provides the tools and resources to streamline the process and find reliable, responsible renters.

With a focus on attracting ideal tenants, maintaining compliance, and simplifying administrative tasks, Azibo empowers landlords and property managers to optimize their rental business and achieve long-term success. Explore the wealth of knowledge and solutions available to you as you embark on the journey of finding good renters for your properties.

How to find good tenants FAQs

What makes someone a good tenant?

A good tenant is an individual who demonstrates financial responsibility, punctuality in paying rent, and respect for the rental property and its terms. They have a stable monthly income that meets or exceeds the income-to-rent ratio criteria the property owner sets. A good tenant will typically have a positive rental history with no prior evictions or significant issues with past landlords. Furthermore, their credit score usually reflects responsible financial behavior, and a criminal background check would reveal no concerning records. Beyond these criteria, they maintain open communication with the property manager or owner, adhering to the lease agreement's terms and ensuring mutual respect in the landlord-tenant relationship.

How do you attract high-quality tenants?

Attracting high-quality tenants requires a mix of targeted advertising, robust tenant screening processes, and maintaining a desirable rental property. Here are steps to achieve this:

Rental listings: Ensure your rental listing is comprehensive and accurate, with high-quality photos showcasing the property's best features. Utilize online platforms and social media to maximize exposure.

Tenant screening: Implement a thorough screening process that checks prospective renters' credit and background. This includes a credit check, criminal background check, and verifying rental history.

Property maintenance: Keep the rental unit in top condition. Modern amenities, clean environments, and updated features generate interest from potential renters looking for the best living conditions.

Engage in the local community: Being active in the local community or hosting community events can organically introduce you to potential tenants.

Referral programs: Incentivize your current, trustworthy tenants to refer potential renters. People often surround themselves with similar habits and lifestyles, making referrals an effective way to find reliable renters.

Stay updated with market trends: Ensure your property offers sought-after features or amenities. Keeping your pricing competitive within the local rental market attracts a broader range of qualified tenants.

By employing these strategies and consistently upholding property standards, you'll position yourself to attract and retain the best tenants for your rental properties.

Gemma Smith

With 7 years in property management, Gemma serves as a key content strategist at Azibo.com. While excelling in writing, editing, and SEO, she also enhances Azibo's social media presence. Passionately, Gemma educates others to make informed real estate investment decisions in the ever-changing market.

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