Sergi & Associates, P.C.
Free Consultation

Avoiding tenant troubles by careful vetting

Purchasing property to rent has always been a popular form of investment. With the right knowledge and skills, you may be able to turn a well-run building into a retirement plan. However, as the owner of a rental property, you have your share of challenges, including emergency repairs, security issues and troublesome tenants.

Whether you have the expertise to make repairs and do maintenance on the building, or you hire someone to manage those tasks, you still likely deal with tenants in one way or another. Investment properties can be a wonderful way to provide yourself with a steady income, but much of that success depends on the quality of tenants who occupy your units.

First impressions

While it is not always a good practice to judge people from your first meeting, you may have a glimpse into the future upon meeting your applicants in their interviews. For example, during the interview, you may notice certain positive characteristics that could indicate appealing qualities in a tenant, including:

  • Punctual arrival
  • Cleanliness
  • Respectful demeanor

You can confirm these assumptions when you contact the applicant's employer, former landlord and references.

One clue that the candidate may not fit in with your other tenants is his or her penchant for drama. This is not hard to miss because many people who stir up trouble tend to share too much private information too quickly after meeting someone. If an applicant dives into a personal story that includes making excuses or shifting blame, you may want to tread carefully as you proceed.

Second impressions

An important part of tenant screening is the background check. Some landlords skip this step because it takes time, and they may have a unit they need to rent out quickly. Experienced landlords will advise you to make time for careful background checks. Much of the information you need to make an informed decision is part of public record, but you can also request permission from your candidate to access vital details, including:

  • Income
  • Credit report
  • Employment history
  • Criminal record

Obviously, a candidate who pays bills on time, holds a steady job and respects the law will present a lower risk of conflict than one who seems to follow trouble wherever it leads. Additionally, an applicant for whom the rent on your unit will take up more than 30 percent of his or her income may easily run into problems coming up with rent money in a typical month.

To minimize the potential for issues among your tenants, you will also benefit from a strong and legally sound rental agreement. An attorney can help you prepare the appropriate documents. For support with any property management issues, you will have a decided advantage by enlisting the assistance of a legal professional with experience in Texas real estate law.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Free Initial Consultation ~ No Obligation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Sergi & Associates, P.C.
329 South Guadalupe Street
San Marcos, TX 78666

San Marcos Law Office Map