If you're considering becoming a landlord, realize that tenant qualification is really important. Here's why.
Recently, a former landlord/client of ours decided to go his own way in terms of managing his rental property. He had been with Chesapeake Property Management for a few years, and decided he wanted to "save the commission and property management fees," attempt to find a tenant and manage his properties on his own. With his experience, he was sure that he could handle easily it on his own.
This former client was indeed able to find a tenant for himself; He was confident she would be a good bet. She had found the home on Craigslist, drove a nice car and dressed beautifully. She told him that she had a steady job, good income and could move in right away - jackpot!
However, appearances can be deceiving. This tenant paid her first month's rent, and then didn't pay again. Eventually, the tenant was evicted. Unfortunately, the eviction process is lengthy and left this landlord out of rent for five months.
The landlord later admitted he should have just come to our property management company so we could handle tenant qualification on his behalf.
How Would a Property Management Company Handle Things Differently?
What we've found in over 16 years of business is that finding applicants is not difficult. Finding "qualified" applicants is a lot more time consuming and complex. We also know that in the state of Maryland, once you are in a lease, the Landlord/Tenant laws favor the Tenant. Therefore, the best way for us to protect our Landlords, is to be careful prior to getting into the Landlord/Tenant relationship.
Here is Chesapeake Property Management's Process for Qualifying Tenants:
We have all tenant applicants over the age of 18 complete an application that is quite detailed.
We then pull a tri-merged credit report, run a background check, check references and verify all of the information by calling the applicant personally.
Yes, we speak with every rental property applicant and yes, it is very time consuming, but it is so worth it. In over 16 years of business and thousands of managed properties, we have filed for eviction less than 5 times! Yes, you read that correctly, less than 5 times! How do we do that? Because we take the time up front to verify the information and educate the tenants on their responsibilities should they go into a lease with our Landlords.
Competing property management companies farm out the tenant approval process to off-site 3rd party companies and we understand why - because it is so time consuming. However, it is the only method for finding qualified tenants. Before hiring a property manager, be sure to find out how that person's organization handles finding the right tenant applicants.
Tenant Qualification Matters!
Chesapeake Property Management is locally owned and operated and very hands on in the management of properties in the Baltimore Maryland Metro Area. Qualifying and educating the tenants is the most important piece of the puzzle prior to getting into the relationship and is what has kept our eviction and problem rate so low. By taking the time up front, we are able to keep our landlords' homes occupied with paying and knowledgeable tenants. The result: a low vacancy rate and our landlords receive a consistent cash flow.
Thinking about going it alone as a landlord? Contact us first. Let's see how we can help.