Now that homeownership rates have dropped to the lowest level in two decades, single-family rental investors have found that there are many opportunities within the housing market. While numerous markets across the country show strong rental market potential, the market with the highest potential rental returns is Clayton County, Georgia, which happens to be home to the Atlanta metro area. In the last few years, the Atlanta, Georgia, real estate market has shown significant improvements. This is particularly true when compared to home-price trends at the height of the housing crisis in 2008. As a result, Atlanta, Georgia, has now been named as one of the "Top 10 Hot Housing Markets to Watch in 2015," according to Housing Institute.
While the Atlanta, Georgia, market is performing quite well overall, Creative Loafing Atlanta reported that neighborhoods in northeast Atlanta near the Beltline and PCM have been among the most sought after in recent years. Such neighborhoods include Midtown, Virginia-Highland, and Poncey-Highland. An ever-increasing flow of people moving into the urban core in Atlanta has driven much of the growth here. As more initiatives, including new businesses, increased bike lanes, and the streetcar, come to fruition, this trend is likely to continue.
Mitigating Risk in Atlanta Rental Market
Rental property owners may well find that there has never been a better time to get involved in the Atlanta real estate market. Although opportunities abound, in order to make the most of those opportunities, investors need to ensure that they take steps to protect themselves and their properties. As is always the case when renting properties, there is potential risk involved. The single most important step that property owners can take to protect their properties is to vet applicants with a thorough tenant screening.
Why You Need a Tenant Check in Atlanta
Performing a tenant check can provide a tremendous amount of insight into an applicant’s background, including whether he or she has ever had an eviction. Many property owners often fail to perform a tenant background check because they feel that their application is comprehensive enough. Regardless of how comprehensive you may believe your application to be, it should be kept in mind that tenants can and do lie. Even checking references is not equivalent to performing a tenant credit check. Along with providing information about previous possible evictions, a tenant credit check can provide relevant information about an applicant’s past credit history. NeighborhoodScout reported that the property crime rate in Atlanta is 65 crimes per 1,000 residents. Given this rate, it only makes sense for property owners to take the necessary steps to ensure their properties are fully protected.
Renting a property without a thorough background check can result in numerous repercussions. Tenants can skip on the rent and not only leave owing money, but could also leave property damage. Even a security deposit may not be enough to cover lost rent and necessary property repairs.
Landlords in Atlanta who are looking for free tenant-screening services will find that options are available. One such available option is through VerticalRent, which offers free tenant screening and lease management services.