A Complete Guide for Los Angeles Landlords to Finding Great Tenants

A Complete Guide for Los Angeles Landlords to Finding Great Tenants thumbnail

As much as LA’s rent stabilization ordinance protects tenants by limiting the rent increase and also providing “just cause” eviction protections, it is imperative for landlords to be able to protect their interests by looking for reliable, no-fuss tenants. After all, in undertaking property management for rentals, you would not want to spend time dealing with late rent payments and legal disputes, all of which cost precious time and money. In a competitive market, securing dependable tenants isn’t a happy coincidence but a matter of following some well thought out guidelines.

Research the Market

First up, it will help to conduct a thorough market survey to arrive at the average rental prices in the area. This is an imperative first step to ensure that the rentals fixed by you reflect the value of your property and are also competitive. In the absence of this research, the fear of vacancy may lead you to fix sub-optimal rates. With the rental amount in place, the next step will be to study your target renter and use the right platforms to advertise your property. 

Speaking of advertising, it always helps to furnish your rental property and get a photographer to snap high-resolution pictures for the prospective renters to be able to visualize the place as their future home.

Ensure Your Paperwork is in Place

Even before you start to look for that trusted renter, ensure that your own administrative paperwork is in place. This may include securing any rental licenses from community associations or purchasing a landlord’s insurance policy. You will also need to have a draft lease agreement and rental application in place so that there are no bottlenecks.

Tenant Screening

Remember that you are looking not just for any tenant but a dependable one. For that, it is imperative that you understand the importance of the tenant screening process. Ensure that your rental application asks for the following details:

  • Applicant’s name
  • Social Security number
  • Previous addresses
  • Driver’s license numbers
  • Income sources and amounts
  • Children’s names and ages
  • Number of pets 
  • Employer contacts and job title
  • Credit history
  • Eviction history (if any)
  • References 
  • As a part of the application process, it will help to let the renter know that you will need to see the proof of renters’ insurance on the date they move in. 

It is, however, not enough to take the information provided at face value. This will mean a number of things, right from validating their employment status and credit history to also contacting previous landlords, not just the current one.

Have a Lease Agreement

A tight lease agreement sets the terms and conditions for tenants living in the house. This could include facts like who will live there, what is the due date for rent, what amenities are being provided, what is the eviction policy, and more. The more the details incorporated in the lease agreement, the less the ambiguity in case of any disputes.

If all of this sounds like too much work and is a drain on your time, it will help to rely on rental property management companies. Not only do they have the experience in tenant acquisition and screening, but they could also help you with a wide range of services including timely rent collection, undertake maintenance issues, ensure that your property complies with the necessary regulations, and more. A professional rental property management company will not only help optimize your profits but also free up your time that you could put to good use. Property management for rentals was never simpler!


Trevor Henson is the founder of several property management companies and is the current Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer at Beach Front Property Management in Long Beach, CA. He is a CMO, entrepreneur, Trojan, EO LA member, investment property addict, change agent, and bourbon aficionado.