The (not so good) trend in tenant behavior

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I met with a group of  property managers and landlords from a neighborhood association that consisted of more than 150 duplexes built between 60 and 80 years ago.  What makes this neighborhood particularly interesting is that these homes were designed to look like single-family homes.

There have been two troublesome trends that have had a negative impact on the neighborhood over the past five years or so.

The first is that the number of absentee landlords has increased to 55%. The other is that the quality of tenants has noticeably declined.

Many of the landlords in attendance had more than 20 years of experience.

They shared stories with me about the “good old days” when tenants were accepted with a handshake and many times they didn’t even collect a security deposit. One landlord told me that it wasn’t unusual for the property to be in better shape after the tenant moved out.

Today, the number of problem tenants has increased dramatically and these landlords are trying to figure out what they can do. A big part of the problem is that they are small landlords and not aware of the tools that are available to them or only know about property management software and credit screening providers that cater to large property managers.

Background screening has become a crucial step in helping assure the quality of potential tenants. An industry rule of thumb is that 80% of a landlord’s tenant headaches can be eliminated if applicants are properly screened.

Finding a background screening and credit check provider can be a daunting task. Many that are readily available can be difficult to understand and to figure out how to use to properly evaluate an applicant. Landlords must also be aware Fair Credit Act compliance issues involved when using a credit report.

Next… What to look for in a tenant screening provider.

 

 

Welcome to Our Blog

 

For the past five years I have met with more than a thousand real estate agents and landlords regarding residential rentals and tenant screening.

I have heard many horror stories and really good tips on keeping bad tenants out before the lease is signed while staying compliant with Fair Housing and Fair Credit regulations.

Someone a lot smarter I am once told me that it is good to learn from your mistakes but a hell of a lot better to learn from someone else’s mistakes.

The purpose of this blog is to provide a resource to landlords and real estate agents to learn from others about applicant and tenant management best practices.

Please feel free to contact me at japple@tenantmagic.net with any of your stories or ideas for topics.