What You Need to Know About a Landlords Credit Report

landlords credit report

If you are planning on renting property, your landlord may have told you he is going to run a credit check. What a terrifying prospect.

Will he be able to see you didn’t pay your rent on October 1st, 2009? What about your credit cards?

Calm down.

Landlords do this as a means of mitigating risk when renting out properties. There are some things you should be aware of a renter. For example, there are some cases where this may affect your credit score.

Your landlord just wants to make sure you will be able to pay your rent each month. Here we will discuss what you need to know about a landlord’s credit report.

Why Does a Landlord Look at This?

A landlord’s livelihood is dependent on your ability to pay the monthly rent. Legally your landlord can do this, but you must give written permission. This can be written into the rental agreement.

Read the fine print.

This can seem invasive. Understand that you are entering into a legally binding agreement.

What Information Can Be Found?

Depending on the reporting agency your landlord uses, he could receive information from the past seven to ten years. You may see the following:

  • whether you have filed bankruptcy
  • convictions or arrests (depending on the state)
  • recent evictions (depending on the state)
  • late or delinquent bills, including any loans and rent
  • involvements in lawsuits

Your landlord may be able to see your credit score, depending on the reporting agency he chooses. Your landlord can use this in determining whether or not to rent to you. The higher your credit score, the lower the risk you present to him.

How Will He Get a Landlord’s Credit Report?

Your landlord needs your name, address, and either their Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or Social Security Number.

All of this information should be on the rental application.

Make sure you know how much (if any) credit check fees your landlord charges.

Once you have this information and have consent, you can get a credit report from a variety of sources.

Landlord Associations

Some of these organizations will offer landlord’s credit checks for a fee. These will count as hard inquiries that will impact your credit score.

Credit Bureaus

He can receive a report from Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian. These are special reports for landlords and will count as soft inquiries.

Tenant Screening Services

Some of these services will offer credit checks. He will request to know whether or not you, as a renter, meet certain credit requirements. It will count as a soft inquiry.

Being Aware of Landlord-Tenant Law

Before you rent a property, be sure to know some of the basics of landlord-tenant law. You do not need to be a lawyer, but you don’t want to enter into any contracts without proper knowledge.

If you are renting a property and have any questions beyond the landlord’s credit report, feel free to reach out to us.

Should You Hire a Property Manager for Your Airbnb?

airbnb property management

It’s easy to see the potential financial benefits of Airbnb in today’s era of side hustles and gig economies, especially if you live in a tourist destination. But Airbnb property management takes a lot more time and expertise than most people realize.

Whether you renting your own property or an investment one, being a host is far from passive. Managing bookings and cleaning schedules, communicating with guests and prospects, and maintaining your rentals all require time and money.

If you’re doing it all yourself, you could be sabotaging your profitability.

Take a look at why many hosts choose to hire a property management company to handle their Airbnb venture.

What Does an Airbnb Property Management Company Do?

Mastering the short-term rental market is no easy feat. You don’t have the luxury of having guaranteed income for weeks or months at a time, which means you need a continuous supply of renters to maximize your income.

Enter property managers, the real heroes of an Airbnb business.

They do all the heavy lifting for you, from responding to prospective guests to managing listings and cleaning schedules.

Airbnb property managers make it possible for anyone to become an Airbnb host, even if you don’t have the time to personally invest in the business. They take most of the work off your shoulders so you can focus on other things.

And, in many cases, becoming profitable with Airbnb rentals simply isn’t attainable without a good property manager.

Benefits of Hiring a Property Manager

Having the right property manager for your Airbnb rentals can be the difference between a full house or an empty nest.

Property managers specialize in creating listings, sourcing renters, and pricing strategies to attract guests. This gives you an edge over the competition in your area because you benefit from the property manager’s experience.

In addition, leaving all the details to the manager gives you more flexibility. You don’t have to be on-site for every check-in or check-out. You can run other businesses while enjoying an Airbnb revenue stream.

As a result, you can spend less time trying to figure out how to turn a profit and more time enjoying the results.

Downsides to Consider

Hiring a property manager isn’t without its flaws. For starters, it costs money.

Property management fees can vary between companies, but either way, it’s an expense that eats into your overall gains.

Sourcing a reputable company has its challenges, too. This niche market has experienced rapid growth in recent years. With over 4 million Airbnb listings worldwide, there’s much incentive and a low bar to entry for management companies.

If you choose a management company, it’s important you do your research to ensure you can get the best possible ROI.

Final Thoughts: Hire a Company or Do It Yourself?

Doing your own property management isn’t always the cheaper option, especially if you lack experience. The time you spend learning how to market and price your rental can quickly negate any financial benefit of running your business yourself.

Hiring an Airbnb property management company can allow you to maximize your rental for less than what you’d spend doing it yourself. Let eFind Agent help you find the best property management company for your Airbnb rental.

The Property Managers Guide to How to Screen Tenants

how to screen tenants

Investment properties turn sour with the wrong tenants. Those who seemed trustworthy and responsible at first could end up doing a 180 after a couple of months.

You need to know how to screen tenants using methods that’ll provide good decision-making information.

It’s your responsibility to vet tenants but what if finding the info is difficult? In this article, we share four helpful tenant screening tips.

Property Management 101: How to Screen Tenants like a Pro

You lose money the longer a property sits on the market. This puts you in a bind because you need someone in, but you don’t want to rush your judgment. A person can seem wonderful, then become a hellion once you give them keys.

Clients come to property managers to avoid the mess of troubling tenants. If you show a consistent record of picking good tenants, you’ll do great in this industry.

Here are a few ways worth applying:

1. Create a Screening “System”

Using a different process when screening each tenant wastes time. Variable screening could omit important info, too. The screening process is repetitive, so creating a “system” streamlines your efforts.

Your process may include:

  • Screening checklist
  • Tenant criteria
  • Background checks
  • Tenant questions
  • Meetups and tours

The systemization of your process creates renter standards. You’ll use this system for each applicant, offering better organization throughout the process.

2. Adhere to the Law

No good will come from rental bias as it could land you in legal troubles. It’s best to approach every application methodically while understanding current rental laws.

  • Learn and respect the Fair Housing Act
  • Know what makes the lease binding
  • Be mindful of your language
  • Document everything

Use standard applications and documentation to avoid legal omissions. This best practice can protect you from discrimination claims.

3. Get What You Need from the Application

You’re looking for a few items:

  • Contacts
  • Financials
  • Lifestyle

The app should include job and landlord references letting you see if they’re quick to bail. Financials often include a credit check or banking balances ensuring renters cover expenses. Plus, pets and job title could reveal a little more about their lifestyle choices.

These items don’t fully define an applicant but will offer decision-making insights. The information can influence your security deposit pricing, too.

4. Get a Credit and Background Check

Order a credit report through one of the main credit agencies. Review the applicant’s credit history and debt.

Red flags could include:

  • Repeat late payments
  • Too many credit inquiries
  • Defaults or bankruptcy

You may use this time to run background checks with Intelius or Instant Checkmate. These reports aren’t cheap but save money forgoing troubling tenants and potential damages.

Look for:

  • Evictions
  • Criminal records
  • Driving records
  • Licenses

Using social media isn’t uncommon in today’s rental environment, either. A glance at social profiles can reveal a person’s lifestyle rather bluntly.

Know Your Boundaries – But Do Your Due Diligence

Renters have legal rights, making screening difficult if you want to know everything. That’s why knowing how to screen tenants is so important. Use what’s available as noted in this guide, staying within reason.

Also, know you’re not right 100% of the time but research is better than blind trust.

Want more? Get in the head of realty agents and learn what they know to become a better property manager. Browse our real estate blog section for tips and tricks.

Looking for a Property Manager? 7 Property Manager Interview Questions

property manager interview questions

Owning and renting out a property is more than a handful. This is especially true when you begin to manage multiple properties. It’s often easier to just give the responsibilities to a property manager and let them handle it.

It’s a great idea, but you’re giving that person a lot of responsibility. You’ll have to interview heavily and make the decision carefully. We’ve compiled a list of property manager interview questions to ask when the interview comes around.

Of course, you’ll need to suit your questions to your own needs, but these ones should serve as a good template for you to start with.

Property Manager Interview Questions

Hopefully, these questions will give you a good place to start. We’re going to cover the essentials, but remember that you should tailor your interview to your needs.

1. “Are You a Licensed Property Manager?”

This is a biggie. Well, it’s important if your state requires landlords to be licensed. If not, though, it is still better to go with those applicants who have the certification.

This simply shows that the person is dedicated to their work and has put an investment into their profession. They’re not just going to show up and have no idea what they’re doing.

2. “Have You Managed Properties Before?”

You’ll want someone that has managed properties similar to your own. For example, you wouldn’t want a motel manager to oversee your multimillion dollar resort. In the same way, someone who hasn’t managed many properties at once might not be able to balance the requirements of managing your property.

3. “How Do You Engage With Tenants?”

This is also an essential aspect of your interview. You don’t want to hire someone who will take the responsibility and use it to take out anger on tenants. This is, unfortunately, a reality in many places.

You want someone who will care about the well-being of your tenants. If they have questions, your property manager should be happy to answer them. You want to hire someone that will make your tenants feel comfortable and reasonable.

4. “What Kind of Fee Structure Are You Used to?”

Landlords are paid in salary, by the hour, or at a percentage of the properties being managed. Make sure to make this clear when you start working with your property manager.

They might be used to a method that is more reasonable than your own, or vice versa. Keep an open mind and see what works.

5. “How is Your Written Communication?”

Much modern communication is done via email and text. Written letters are also used by landlords. Make sure that your property manager knows how to write in the proper tone.

The same message can be written in many different tones, totally changing the way it’s perceived. You tenants will respect your property more if communication is going well.

6. “How Do You Screen Tenants?”

Make sure that applicants understand the state’s laws and regulations regarding background checks and screenings. Try to find someone who has a clean-cut approach to screening tenants.

In other words, everything must go by the books.

7. Do You Like This Person?

This is more of a question for you. You’ll be dealing with this person every day for a number of years. It’s essential that the personal connection is there.

At the very least, ask yourself if this person is someone you’d trust to handle your properties. If not, move on to the next applicant.

Learn More About Property Management

Whether you’re looking to do more research for your property manager interview questions or you’re trying to become a manager yourself, there’s no harm in doing a little research.

If you’re interested in learning more, visit our site to find the information you need.

5 Property Management Responsibilities That Can’t Be Ignored

property management responsibilities

More than a third of U.S. households were renters in 2016. Even up to now, 77 of the 100 biggest cities in the country still see a rise in rents, both in rates and number of tenants.

No wonder then that renters shelled out a whopping $485.6 billion in 2017!

As a property owner, this should be enough to make you want to rent out your property. But what if the property you want to rent is too far from you? Or you have a lot of properties and can’t deal with them all by yourself?

This is where property management responsibilities come into play.

You may have heard of property managers as rent collectors or tenant managers. But their duties go beyond that.

So, before you hire a rental property manager, it’s best you know what these are. We’ve rounded up five of the most important.

1. Setting the Right Rental Rate

Collecting rent, check. Determining the right rental rate – that’s a given.

That’s right. The duties of a property manager extend to setting and adjusting rental rates.

Remember, cities across the nation have a varying cost of living. That includes housing, which includes rental rates.

As such, you can’t charge the average $3,000 they do for a one-bedroom unit in NYC for a similar one in Kansas City. If you do, you’ll scare away most, if not all potential tenants.

That’s why the duties of a property manager include setting the right rental rate. They know the market of your property’s location inside out. They know how much comparable properties nearby cost.

They then use this to come up with an attractive rental price that will still make you profits.

2. Making Appropriate Rental Rate Adjustments

If rent went up in 77 large cities, the opposite happened to seven of the 25 biggest ones. Baltimore, Chicago, and Pittsburgh are to name a few.

Your property needs to stay competitive, so you need to adjust according to these changes. A property manager takes responsibility for this.

Don’t worry though. If rental rates go up, then your manager can also make the appropriate increase to your rental rate.

Always keep in mind that there are laws surrounding these changes. Unless you’re an experienced property manager yourself, you may not know what these are. As such, it’s best you let the pros handle these adjustments.

3. Dealing with Move Outs

Let’s face it. Not all renters stay renters throughout their lifetime. That means your tenant may also move out in the future.

So, who’s responsible for handling such instances? Your property manager.

Your manager will first inspect the unit to make sure no tenant-caused damages exist. He/she will also determine how much of the security deposit to give back the tenant. After the move-out, he/she will clean the unit, have existing damages repaired, and look for a new renter.

4. Maintain Your Property

Maintaining your property is important whether it’s still in the market or already has occupants.

Your manager will either do this on his/her own or hire another professional. Such tasks include pest extermination, trash removal, and checking for plumbing or roof leaks among many others.

5. Have Repairs Done ASAP

All those potential calls at 3 AM from tenants with leaking roofs or plumbing pipes? These will go to your property manager. It’s their responsibility to address property damages and problems, after all.

They can either do the repairs on their own or hire a professional to do it. This is a cinch for the most reliable property managers since they have connections to other service providers. These include plumbers, electricians, as well as HVAC and roof contractors.

Outsource these Property Management Responsibilities to a Pro

Keep in mind that in the U.S., tenancy turnover rate averages at 50%. Although it’s not always due to tenant-landlord disputes, you still want to bring that rate down as much as possible. That’s why you should consider letting an expert carry out all these property management responsibilities.

With a dependable and experienced property manager, you can rest assured your tenants will remain happy. Because they’re happy, they’ll have fewer, even no reason to move out.

Ready to make your property even more attractive to renters? If so, then let us help! Connect with us now and we’ll be more than happy to address your landlord concerns.