Make More Green: 4 Ways to Find and Keep a Good Renter

By Shari Biediger

DON’T RELY ON the luck of the Irish to land a good tenant for your rental property. There really are just two ways to find a quality tenant: the easy way and the hard way.

Easy means hiring a certified property manager, while hard entails doing it yourself. Either way, here are some tips to help get your place leased to a desirable tenant:

  1. Advertise. In addition to the “For Rent” sign in the front yard, you can advertise your property on a site such as But if you want the best result for the least money, try YouTube, says Andrew L. Propst, past president of the National Association of Residential Property Managers. Upload a virtual tour of your property and then post it to sites such as Craigslist and to your social media accounts.
  2. Make home improvements. Repairing structural deficiencies, replacing busted appliances, removing left-behind junk, spraying for pests and simply adding a fresh coat of paint will go a long way toward attracting an ideal renter. You’ll be able to charge more, and generally, the cleaner and nicer your home is at move-in, the better it may look when the tenant leaves.
  3. Use a form. Rental applications are simple, effective ways to spell out the terms and conditions of the lease, such as whether you allow pets or expect tenants to carry renters insurance. You also can gather the information you need to conduct  credit and criminal checks on a prospective renter.
  4. Do a background check. SmartMove, a service of TransUnion Rental Screening Solutions, is discounted for USAA members and offers tenant-screening tools, including access to one of the largest credit, criminal and eviction databases in the industry.¹ This service also gives you the option to pay the fee yourself or pass it on to the prospective renter.

A rental property can be your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, so be cautious who you share it with.

Help protect up to 10 properties with USAA’s rental property insurance.


¹The Tenant Screening is provided by Transunion. USAA is offering this service to members and is not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of the information.

Use of the term “member” or “membership” does not convey any eligibility rights for auto and property insurance products, or legal or ownership rights in USAA. Membership eligibility and product restrictions apply and are subject to change.

Rental Home insurance means Dwelling Property Insurance.  Dwelling Property Insurance provided by United Services Automobile Association, USAA Casualty Insurance Company, USAA General Indemnity Company, Garrison Property and Casualty Insurance Company, San Antonio, TX. Each company has sole financial responsibility for its own products.

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