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Even though interest rates have risen over the summer they are still well below rates in the past causing home purchases to be very attractive.  Additionally, those who are now three years from their foreclosure can now purchase again and in some cases people who did short sales just two years ago can also purchase and unfortunately these individuals have been making up our tenant applicant pool for the last several years. Now landlords are faced more frequently with less qualified applicants which of course greatly increases the chances of damages and or rent not being paid.  Here are a few suggestions for landlords in order to mitigate your risks:
1. Take the maximum amount of security deposit allowed in your area.  In the Phoenix metro area for example it is 1.5 the monthly rent amount.
2. Require the full security deposit to be paid up front prior to move in.
3. Require several references on each application including family members with phone numbers and email address and don’t be afraid to call the phone numbers to be sure they are correct.
4. Complete property inspection regularly in an effort to catch any issues sooner rather than later.
5. Price the property at or slightly below market rent in an effort to attract the more qualified tenant.
6. Be sure your property looks the best that it can for all prospective applicants.
Lastly, although no landlords like for their property to be vacant, don’t rush into approving an applicants who really don’t have the track record of paying housing and bill payments on time.