Have a Back-Up Plan for Filling Rental Units

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on March 31, 2011 under Landlord Tips | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

tenant screening, tenant prescreening, tenantscreeningblogSo, you’ve landed a new tenant for that vacant rental you’ve been showing. He paid the deposit, and you’re in the tenant background check phase of your due diligence process. Now you can take down the flier you posted at the local coffee shop, stop showing the unit and cancel your ads, right?

Sure, if you’re betting that the deposit check won’t bounce, the tenant credit report will come back at an acceptable level and the tenant’s references will all check out. But smart landlords know that anything can happen between the lease application and the lease signing. Tenants change their minds every day. References don’t check out. And credit scores are more iffy than ever these days. Maybe showing the rental property to additional prospective tenants is the better way to go.

Every landlord should have a back-up plan, just in case the shiny new tenant doesn’t prove to be 100% reliable. Besides, unless and until you have a signed lease, you don’t really have a new tenant.

There are several advantages to continue marketing a pending rental property:

  • You’ll have prospects for your additional rental properties.
  • Murphy’s Law says that as soon as you stop marketing one rental property, another one will become vacant!
  • You can refer your prospects to other landlords in your network.
  • A waiting list can move a hesitant tenant from “just looking” to “where do I sign?”
  • You might find a better-qualified tenant than the one you’re working with.

Some landlords would say that “never” is when they stop marketing their rental properties. As in any profession, being proactive is better than being reactive in the rental property business. No matter how good a prospective tenant looks, make sure you have a back-up plan. Keep marketing and showing your rental unit and gather names for a waiting list—just in case the deal falls through.

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