I heard that you were going to do a class on being a successful landlord. That’s great. I have made almost every mistake I think you can make so I hope you tell people that being a landlord isn’t easy. I’ve had to go through evictions twice and it’s a total pain! How can you be sure that you’ll get good renters? I’ve given up and plan on selling the house.
There are no guarantees, of course, but doing a good background check is critically important. You should hire a professional firm that can do a complete check of rental history, credit, criminal background, and verification of employment. A credit check alone doesn’t tell the story.
Sometimes an otherwise good renter gets passed over because they are occasionally late with credit card payments or behind on student loans. That can show poor financial habits, perhaps, but most important is that the rent was the priority and always paid on time. It’s also important to talk to the current landlord and, if possible, talk to the one before that. The current landlord may give someone a good recommendation just to get rid of them. That doesn’t happen often but the deeper you can go the better.
A big mistake, and I’ve made it myself, is to rent to a friend or relative or “good buddy” of a friend without fully checking them out first. Just because you know someone or think they are a nice person, or they are recommended by someone you trust, is no reason to fail to run a complete background check on them.
By the way, the class is November 10th, this Saturday, from 10:00 to 12:00. It will be held at the Land Trust building and there is no charge. Maybe after you attend the class and get more hints on how to do it right, you will reconsider selling your rental property. Real estate is a great investment. Putting out the effort to do it right can not only give you income now, but it can build equity for you in the future.