It can be easy to find a tenant for your Chicago property, but finding a responsible, reliable one isn’t always as simple. It can be hard to judge from a few visits and a short application whether the applicant will pay rent on time or be someone you’ll have to badger each month to ask about his or her missing payment.
When talking with applicants, there are a few factors you should consider, such as their payment history, credit, referrals, and responsiveness. You should also ensure you follow the Fair Housing Rules and don’t discriminate against prospective tenants based on race, color, sex, national origin, family status, disabilities or religion. Here are some things to look for when browsing through that stack of applications:
- Perform a background check and contact references.
Before giving the keys to your new Chicago apartment tenant, you should check their background for any offenses. Since this can be a lengthy process, you might want to hire a tenant screening company to do this for you. There are services like TransUnion’s SmartMove that help you pick great tenants by providing criminal background checks, eviction records, and credit reports. You should also contact the applicant’s previous landlords to find out if he or she paid rent on time, kept the apartment in good condition, followed policies, had good communication with his or her landlord, and was respectful to neighbors.
- Make sure the tenant has good credit.
A tenant’s credit score shows his previous payment history, how much debt he has and what type of debt, and the types of credit cards he uses. If an applicant is creditworthy, then he will likely pay rent on time. You can check their credit score through services like Tenant Verification Service and TenaCheck.
- Check to see if the applicant has good payment history and steady employment.
When talking to previous landlords or mortgage lenders, you should check if the applicant made full payments on time. You should also verify he or she has reliable income sources. Is he or she currently employed? How long has he or she been working there? The rent should be no more than 30 percent of the applicant’s monthly income.
- A good prospective tenant is honest and communicative throughout the entire application process.
If the applicant is responsive, shows enthusiasm, and easy to work with during the application process, then that could be a good indicator that he will communicative and trustworthy once he moves in as well. You want to choose a tenant that you can easily contact when you need to schedule repairs, ask about late payments, or ask about other concerns. The applicant should also be transparent on his application and not withhold any important information. You should request a copy of his drivers’ license and check with his references and employers to ensure everything is accurate. If the applicant lies on his application, then he will probably be an unreliable tenant.
- A good applicant is clean and responsible.
Paying rent on time isn’t the only sign that an applicant is responsible. He or she should also be someone who takes good care of the apartment and keeps the landlord updated on any problems with the apartment. An applicant who throws wild parties, leaves trash piling up, and leaves repair problems unattended will be hard to work with. An applicant who asks thorough questions during the apartment tour about property management company’s policies and other concerns will likely be a responsible and invested tenant.
- A good tenant is respectful of you, your time, and the property.
As well as being responsible, a good tenant should be respectful of your time and policies. They should be on time for meetings, follow the apartment guidelines, and keep the apartment in good condition. Choosing a tenant is a big commitment, and a good applicant should show genuine interest and respect for the place and your services. Finding a Chicago apartment is exciting, and hopefully the prospective tenant exudes that enthusiasm during the application process.
If you’re interested in becoming a property manager for apartments in Chicago, you can contact Realty & Mortgage at (773) 549-8300 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A property management company that’s been in business for over 100 years, Realty & Mortgage manages residential, retail, office, and industrial properties, and condominiums and cooperatives throughout Chicagoland. We believe service is our most important product, and satisfaction is our most important award. We look forward to continuing to provide quality, personalized service through hard work, honesty and teamwork.