Every property owner struggles with the need for getting a tenant as soon as possible, versus getting a tenant that will pay on time, be a good neighbor and not cause any problems or headaches.
The temptation to sign on a new tenant as soon as a reasonable looking person shows up is high, especially with the financial strain of meeting all the overhead and expenses of property ownership without that rental income coming in. But resist the urge to move too quickly, and bypassing the all-important background check, in order to get that rental income flowing. Consider the following before you sign that contract for what could be a very long relationship.
First and last, should you sign on a tenant that pays late, or not at all, you will back where you started, and facing the difficult, time consuming, and expensive process of evicting someone. If you screen before you sign, you will avoid this problem.
Second, should you be lucky enough to get a tenant paying on time without screening, you may be unlucky in other ways. Your new tenant may have a less than desirable life-style, that could cause your other tenants to complain and move out, living you with more units to fill, which will in turn be harder to fill with good prospects. Tenants who break too many rules or damage your property will also drain your checking account, and this could lead you down the time consuming and expensive path of eviction proceedings.
You may be aware that it is important to do background checks but have the feeling that you just don’t have the time to wait to go through all of that. If you have this mindset, try to remind yourself, as busy as you are now, how much busier and how much more time you will lose if you get that bad tenant. It’s not worth the risk.
Do keep in mind, of course, the speed of the screening service you provide. It is important to find that good tenant and get the rental money coming in in a timely way, so make sure the screening service you pick has a reputation for getting thing done in a timely, efficient way.
Last, when choosing a tenant, have a list of criteria that they must meet in order for you to consider renting to them, making sure of course that your criteria is not discriminatory.