Finding and Keeping the Ideal Tenant

Based in Portland, Oregon, Fox Management Inc. provides property management services to a large number of owners of single-residence homes, apartments, and condominiums. Managing a property is much more than simply arranging a rental contract and ensuring that deposits, security fees, and monthly rents are collected. The property management process begins with finding the appropriate tenants to inhabit a unit. The screening process involves credit and criminal checks, as well as employment and income verification. The showing of a property presents a particularly opportune moment for interviewing and observation. Take stock of the attitude and demeanor of the prospective tenant, and the stories they have to tell: unspoken cues paint a much fuller picture than words alone. A thorough checking of landlord references is another must. Verify landlord ownership through public records, making sure that official information matches that supplied in the rental application. Reported income can be verified through a simple phone call to a listed employer, and the self-employed can provide a pay stub. A key to finding the right tenant is patience: better to wait a few weeks and find the perfect candidate than your lower standards and live with a tenant who is far from ideal. Charging an application fee is an effective way of narrowing the applicant pool to individuals who are serious about a specific property. Fox Management Inc. requires a nonrefundable $45 fee for every application it processes. This covers our expenses, and assures owners that prospective tenants are not canvassing a large number of units. When we contact an applicant with approval status, they are usually ready and willing to take the rental unit.

Moving in is a critical moment in the tenant-owner relationship. It presents the ideal time to reinforce rental agreement terms on a line-by-line basis. The move-in process should always be completed at the rental location and be accompanied by a written document with photos, describing the unit’s move-in condition. A number of other specific tips apply to maintaining ideal tenant-owner relationships throughout a tenancy. Owners not prepared to shoulder all of these responsibilities on their own may want to obtain the services of a qualified property management firm such as Fox Management Inc.

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