What 4 things should you look for with a Boulder renter?
Today, many homeowners are landlords. Some rent rather than sell the home they’re leaving. Others rent in-law apartments or rooms for extra income. Still others buy vacation or retirement homes and rent them to cover expenses.
Personally, I think they are a great investment in this area… It helps that we have an endless supply of tenants thanks to CU Boulder! The educational institutions, NOAA, NIST and NCAR help provide a stable economy and our glorious weather (the last 3 weeks excepted) makes it a sort after destination for a new beginning that prioritizes quality of life.
If you become a landlord, you want tenants who pay the rent on time and take good care of your investment.
Four things to investigate:
Do a credit check. You want someone without lots of debt, who always pays creditors on time. Also ask for payroll stubs or other proof of regular income. In general, rent shouldn’t be much more than 30% of monthly income.
Run a criminal background check. People convicted of violent crimes or drug dealing could still be threats. You might give a second chance to someone with an old conviction for property damage, but get a bigger security deposit.
(Background screenings and credit checks range from $30 to $50 can be covered by a tenant application fee.)
Ask for past housing information and call former landlords. Learn firsthand if people paid rent on time and were easy to deal with, and how they left the property. Ask the landlord or property manager if the tenant generated any complaints such as noise, smells, HOA violations etc.
Your Personal Reaction
Try to meet prospective tenants in person. Ask them direct questions and observe their overall demeanor. People are on their best behavior in an interview, but try to get a sense of their personality and whether you’re comfortable with them. Follow your gut.
Landlords and Property Managers interact with tenants on everything from rent payment to maintenance. You want a renter you can work with in a friendly, professional manner – as well as someone who pays on time and takes reasonable care of the property. Good and timely communication makes a huge difference. When you have room to be choosey, consider this… Select the great tenant who is also likely to renew next year!
Whether or not you are ready to be a landlord, if investment property seems like it might be a good fit, call me. I have a strong background in real estate and work closely with investors and repeat buyers and sellers. I am (selectively) building a property management portfolio and often find myself consulting on leasing and marketing issues that other managers, landlords and investors need help with. Yes, I have an application form I can share, as well as a system and service provider for background, employment and eviction checks. Yes, I’d be happy to share this with you!