Why Should You Take a Risk With First-Time Renters
Updated: Aug 28
From the tenants’ perspective, thousands of websites offer tips to first-time renters on how to navigate the rental market. However, if you are a seasoned landlord or new to property management, you may be wondering whether these newcomers are an opportunity.
It can be tough to deal with college graduates looking for room rentals or newly divorced homeowners with no rental history. If you haven’t already allocated a first-time renter process for your rental unit, the following tips will allow you to lay down a rental policy that easily accepts first time renters.
Ask For Rental Resumes
If you are faced with an application that doesn’t have any rental history (or perhaps they tell you that they are first-time renters), you should ask them for a rental resume. This document gives you a glimpse into who these renters are as a person and try to ask them to add more detail in the areas where they excel the most.
By letting them take the lead and asking for some reference, you could learn their hobbies like whether they practice with their band in their spare time or if they like to breed rabbits. By doing this, you will have so more information to go on before making a decision.
Ask For These Additional Documents
The following supporting documents are very helpful in making a rental decision:
Bank Account Statements
Checking accounts, mutual funds, trust funds, or some other financial information can be very enlightening. These statements not only ensure proof of income but also help to calculate their debt ratios.
Letter of Recommendation
A letter of recommendation grants you a little insight into the applicants. This reference should be from a trusted source such as a teacher, employer, religious leader, etc.
Alternative Credit Reports
Often, these applicants will not only lack a rental history but will also have a low or non-existent credit score. Even if they have good credit, you will wish that they provide alternative credit reports to see how well they handle their credit. These alternative reports may include cell phone bills and jewelry retailer accounts and perhaps even their auto insurance policies.
Regardless of their rental history, it is crucial for landlords or property managers to conduct rental interviews. This Portland property management company is suggesting that if you require your tenants to have a guarantor or a co-signer, make sure that these individuals also attend the interviews.
However, do remember that you should only ask acceptable questions during the interview. The Federal Fair Housing Act restricts landlords from marital status, age, or any arbitrary discrimination.
In addition, there are also a couple of local regulations which may hinder you from asking some other questions. This is why you should make sure that you or your property managers are well-versed in the state and local laws.
New renters may just turn out to be the best quality renters for your business. You see, every renter has to start from somewhere, and if the occupancy rates in your area are high and you have vacancies, first-time renters are probably your best shot of increasing ROI.
Well, there you have it, folks. If you’re looking forward to trying out any of these strategies in your rental property, you can always delegate these tasks to your property manager or hire the right professionals for the task at hand. The only thing you will be responsible for is to offer your potential tenants more affordability, personalization, and authenticity as opposed to mass advertising.
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