Quality Tenants are Key to Successful Rentals – How We Qualify Renters
All the properties you see on our website are already rented, and thus investment ready. If you’ve ever had experience with rental real estate, you already know that good tenants make or break a unit’s profit margin. At C.K. Mack, potential tenants go through a rigorous screening process and evaluation before they can sign a lease and move in. Applicants must submit a $35 fee and a valid driver’s license to even fill out our application form. Here’s how we go about separating the wheat from the chaff when it comes to tenant rentals.
All applicants must provide their rental history for the previous five years. We want the address of the properties, name of the landlords, tenancy dates, rent amount and the reason for leaving. We want good references, housekeeping and property maintenance records from previous landlords.
All this information is thoroughly checked and corroborated. Give us erroneous or incomplete information, and these applicants won’t be living in one of our dwellings.
We delve into an applicant’s employment history and their ability to pay the rent. Our application requires the employer’s name and address, the applicant’s salary and whether the position is permanent or temporary. If an applicant is an hourly wage earner rather than a salaried employee, we need to know how many hours are worked each week. If an applicant works more than one job, we want that information. The bottom line is that every detail is verified so we are sure an applicant can afford to pay the rent, and they have a stable job history. Qualifying applicants must have a gross monthly income at least equal to three times the monthly rental amount.
While a rental and employment history are sufficient for many residential real estate companies, we want additional information to ensure a tenant is a good prospect. That includes whether they have ever broken a lease and why, whether utilities can be turned on the applicants’ name and whether they have ever faced eviction. We want to know if the applicant has a checking and/or savings account, the number and type of vehicles in the household and the name of their attorney. We also ask what might interrupt an applicant’s ability to pay rent, and whether they have ever intentionally refused to pay rent when it is due. There are legitimate reasons why some of these problem rental circumstances come up, so we want to know what happened. Only a diligent screening reveals these answers and whether a tenant is suitable for one of our properties.
Lingering odors are not the only side effect of smoking inside a house. Smoke residue can leave yellowish stains on walls, ceilings and fixtures, and removing such stains is difficult. Burn marks may scar countertops or bathroom vanities. Of course, smoking inside the house raises the odds of a house fire due to an improperly snuffed cigarette. For those reasons, tenants cannot smoke inside our rental units.
Once an applicant is approved, they must obtain renter’s insurance. That’s an extra layer of protection for us and our investors. Renter’s insurance isn’t expensive, so it doesn’t prove a burden to tenants – not the tenants we want, anyway. Renter’s insurance protects the tenant’s belongings, so it’s a win for them, but it protects the landlord by minimizing the risk of litigation should a disaster occur.
The Bottom Line
We go the extra mile to vet tenants because we know it’s worth it. It’s good practice for our company and our investors, and positively affects our bottom line. The extra effort we put forth in tenant screening reflects the way we do business, and is a reason why you can have confidence investing with C.K. Mack.