How to be a Landlord in Los Gatos: Rent your Home to the Best Tenant

Los Gatos Property Management - REC Property ManagementAny time we have a new client at Real Estate Connections, the landlord in Los Gatos often has an idea of who the best tenant is. Santa Clara County is a major dot-com area, and we have a lot of tech companies employing people here. So, most landlords are hoping for a single person to rent the property, who travels about 90 percent of the time and is never home. This might seem like an ideal tenant, but that is probably not who you are going to end up renting to. Chances are, your tenants will be a family or someone who actually does spend quite a bit of time in the house. We always recommend that landlords start the screening process at the very beginning.

1. Pay attention to the initial contact. Even that first phone call with a prospective tenant can give you clues on whether or not you would want to rent your home to this person. Notice how that person talks to you and how they handle themselves. Are they professional? Ask relevant questions while you have him or her on the phone. Ask why they are moving. You do not want to rent to someone who might be leaving a current property due to landlord disputes. Make sure you don’t ask discriminating questions. You cannot ask how many kids they have, how many people would be living in the property, or anything that might sound discriminatory. There are laws in place to prevent this, and you must be careful.

2. Establish minimum requirements. Your rental application should explain what is required so tenants know what they must do in order to get approved for your property. One of our requirements at Real Estate Connections is that a household income is at least three times the monthly rent. You can also establish credit minimums and other requirements that are in place before an application is even considered. This will help tenants know if they have a shot.

3. Do not rent to the first person who inquires. Make sure you complete your due diligence and qualify the tenants. Check references, run a credit report, do a background and criminal check. Make sure you verify income by asking for pay stubs. Don’t trust anything that the tenant tries to give you because documents can always be created and changed. Do your own credit check and call the references yourself.

4. Ensure your home is a good one. If you want a great tenant, have a great home. This is the best way to find an excellent tenant who will rent from you in the long term.

Finding tenants can be complex. If you have any other questions on how to go about, please contact us or give us a call at (408) 873-2100. We have over 50 years of experience at Real Estate Connections, and we’d be happy to help you.


7 Responses to “How to be a Landlord in Los Gatos: Rent your Home to the Best Tenant”

  1. Terri Alcala July 11, 2013 2:02 pm

    Well said! It’s so important to find a wide range of tenants for each property. The greater the pool, the greater the chances that you will be able to find the best renter for that property. I have included a link to a similar blog on my blog site. Take a look and let me know what you think.


  2. Scott Corbridge July 18, 2013 2:42 pm

    Well said! Each client is different and the goal is to find the best tenant for each client. If you would like to see how we do things in Florida, I have included a link to my blog on how to find the best tenants in Sarasota. Take a look.


  3. Lois Moore August 12, 2013 1:41 pm

    Great system! As property managers, it is our job to find the very best tenants for our clients. You can never be to careful when it comes to placing tenants in a home and having a certain criteria makes it even easier to determine whether a new tenant will be a good fit. If you would like to know how we do things in Oregon, I have included a link to my blog. Great blog and have a great day!


  4. Matt Fonk September 12, 2013 12:48 pm

    We too strongly advice that property managers take the time to qualify their tenants. Good tenants will take care of your rental property and therefore allow for fewer property inspections. We talk about how inspections and tenant screening go hand in hand in our blog:

    Hope you get some helpful advice from it.


  5. Stephanie Gordon September 16, 2013 1:26 pm

    Nice article. The suggestion to do your own background checking as opposed to relying entirely on tenant-submitted documentation is helpful especially since, as you said, documentation can be created or altered. Here at Gordon Property Management, we run a credit report that looks for eviction – we can overlook bumps in the credit history but we NEVER rent to anyone who has been evicted – no matter what the reason. Here is a link to our blog if you want to read more about it:


  6. Deborah Bailey October 11, 2013 10:04 am

    It is good advice to pay attention to even that first phone call with a prospective tenant since it can, as you mentioned, give you clues on whether or not you would want to rent your home to this person. We believe you must find a good fit for your property because nothing will cost you more as a landlord than a bad tenant. Our blog has other useful information on tenant screening:



  1. How to be a Landlord in Palo Alto: Smart Remodel to Optimize your Rental - Real Estate Connections - April 17, 2013

    […] a rental home. It simply has to be nice, clean and updated. First impressions are important when tenants are looking at homes to rent. As long as you remodel or update your home so it shows well, your investment will be […]