Managing your own property entails a lot of responsibilities, but one of your first priorities should be finding tenants. Unfortunately, not only do you have to find tenants to rent out your home or apartments, you also have to find the right tenants. Chances are that, in Bellevue, you have one or more single-family homes that you want to rent out. Even if you’ve got a series of condos, you’ve invested a lot of money in them, and you need tenants that will treat your property like their own.  Finding great tenants is half of the battle, and here are a few tips from professional Bellevue property management companies to help you find them.

Get References

First, you’re going to get references from your tenant applicants. Most of the time, they will automatically bring you references. It’s your job to call and actually check those references. Double check with the business to make sure that you’re not calling their mother who’s only pretending to be a former landlord, and then ask several questions about the tenant including why they left, whether or not they paid on time, and if there were any complications. This is the best way to make sure that the tenant has a good reputation.  Usually it’s better to call their previous landlord rather than their current one to ensure that the current landlord doesn’t just want to get rid of them.

Hold Interviews

It is also a good idea to hold an interview with the prospective tenant to see how they behave. Unfortunately, even bad tenants will typically put on their best behavior when trying to get an apartment, so this is not the only way to check the tenant, but it is helpful.

Run a Credit Check

When you get a new tenant, you want to make sure that they can afford the rental, that they don’t have any outstanding debts that might compromise their ability to pay, and that they have good credit.  A credit report is one important way to ensure that they can pay for the apartment, but it is also a good idea to verify employment with a last pay stub, or to ask for a reference from their boss if they have just moved to the area for a new job.

Be Cautious

The first mistake that most new landlords make is to jump into a tenant agreement as quickly as possible in order to start making money. Occupancy is ideal, but not if it means that you have tenants who won’t pay on time or who are otherwise disruptive. Instead, take your time, make sure that you do your homework, and make sure that your contract protects you in case the tenant doesn’t want to pay, or causes deliberate damage to the home.

If all of this sounds like it will take up more time then you have, you may want to consider hiring a Bellevue property management company. A property manager will screen all of your tenants to ensure that they are the best fit for your rental property, so that you can go on with your busy life and start making money. Most importantly, many property managers don’t charge you for advertising and screening services, but instead charge a small percentage of the rental fee each month.