As a rental owner and seasonal rental manager it is your responsibility to properly screen each new tenant. Sometimes instructing others on this subject is difficult because it relies on trust and gut feeling. However, to make the screening process easier this article describes some ways you can properly vet any new renters. Property managers recommend that you:
- Prepare a list of important questions for a phone interview
- Make contact with any potential renter over the phone before booking the seasonal rental
- Is this a business trip or a vacation?
- What is your expected vacation duration?
- How many people are in your party including children?
- How many children are staying with you?
Listen carefully to each answer and look out for red flags. If the caller is just looking for a weekend stay they might be looking for a place to throw a wild party. Similarly, if they mention a puppy that is still teething this obviously could mean serious damage for the seasonal rental furniture.
It is also a good idea to investigate the potential renters by simply Googling their names to see if anything suspicious pops up. We recommend becoming friends with the seasonal renters on facebook.com because once you are a friend it will reveal private content. Just like employers you are interviewing them as a potential candidate and if they have loads of partying photos posted it should be fair warning. On the phone interview you should ask them where they are calling from and then perform an area code lookup to make sure what they said matches the area code location. Usually this will match up, but some renters especially snowbirds may not live where there area code location is showing. However, using white pages .com can help you find out if the snowbird renter’s phone number matches up with the address they have provided.
Acceptable information to request:
- First and last name
- Phone number
- Home address
- Email address
- Number of adults and children
- Arrival dates
- Departure dates
- Credit card number for payment (Note: Use www.paypal.com to easily accept credit card payments.)
We do not recommend using background check services for renters staying less than one month. These services are seen as too intrusive and you do not want to scare away a potential tenant. To learn more about seasonal rental property management please read our snowbirdseeker.com articles. If this article was helpful we recommend reading our seasonal rental agreement checklist article.