Throughout the United States, the housing market has experienced a recovery. During that time, rental markets have shifted and in many areas, rental properties are increasingly in demand. Like much of the rest of the country, this has proven to be the case in the state of Virginia.
The State of the Rental Market Across Virginia
Among the most popular places in Virginia to live is Virginia Beach. The average rent price in Virginia Beach is currently about $1,200 per month, an increase from about $1,100 one year ago, according to Rent Jungle. In Richmond, Virginia, the average rent price is slightly lower at about $977 per month, up from about $942 per month at about the same time last year. The situation is much the same in both Norfolk and Chesapeake, where the average rent prices range between $1,050 and 1,100 per month.
While rents and demand may be on the rise in Virginia, that does not mean that landlords do not need to pay careful attention to how their properties are managed. In fact, when both rents and demand are on the rise, as they are in Virginia, it can often result in increasing the responsibilities of a landlord or a property owner. One of the reasons for this is that while increased demand means more applicants, that also means sorting through more rental applications. In a quest to fill vacant units as quickly as possible, property owners and managers may sometimes feel pressured to conduct interviews more quickly than is perhaps wise. This can result in a number of problems, including renting a unit to a tenant who may not pay the rent on time or who might damage the property.
Protecting a Landlord's Investment
Having an applicant to complete a comprehensive rental application can be a good starting point, but it should always be kept in mind that a tenant may not be completely honest about what he or she puts on a rental application. The best way to determine whether an applicant is being honest on a rental application is to conduct a background check and criminal check.
Unfortunately, many landlords and property owners in Virginia may find it too time consuming to conduct such checks on their own or may not even know where to turn in order to conduct a background check. Services such as VerticalRent can make it much easier to conduct due diligence.
Along with conducting a background check and criminal check, it is also important for landlords to request a credit check on prospective applicants. If an applicant has had any credit problems in the past, this could be an indication that he or she might have trouble paying their rent on time. The problem that many small landlords encounter is processing minimums. With services like VerticalRent, it becomes easy to request a single credit report whenever you need to fill a vacancy. As a result, landlords do not need to be worried about being penalized even when they only need to request a small number of credit checks.