By the time Kid Saggy Pants left, we’d learned our lesson: it was time to pre-screen our applicants. Up to this point, we’d simply agreed to meet everyone who showed interest in our Craigslist ad … And our apartment, being only 850 sq ft and with a rent of $565 per month, was attracting the interest, thus far, of a group of people that we, in turn, had no interest in.
A quick google search of “how to find quality tenants” confirmed that we were skipping the essential — and simple — step of pre-screening interested parties. After reading a few articles, we sat down and made these changes:
- We raised the damage deposit from $250 to $400: initially, we were going for affordability; we decided, however, that a stronger “skin in the game” factor would sweep some “fluff” away.
- We asked for an application fee of $10: not much, but it covered our costs and required a small investment on the part of the prospective tenant.
- We asked emailed inquiries to provide the following info:
Number of People & Relationship to You:
Intended Rental Term:
- And finally, once we had a prospect on the phone, we asked 1) why they were moving; 2) what was they’re credit like; and 3) could they proved a positive rental history?
Along the way, with our quick phone pre-screening, we were able to wish good luck to a few people who didn’t match our desired tenant profiles. Simple changes, really — common sense stuff — and suddenly, within days, we landed three wonderful prospects.
- Bust a Sag; or, How We Learned to Pre-screen Our Applicants (mondaymorninglandlord.wordpress.com)