Vetting Tenants — How we protect the landlord’s interests.

What we seek in Fairfax County tenants

In Fairfax County, our team prefers to work with reliable tenants. Here are some of the traits we seek out.

  1. A desirable tenant pays the rent when due every month. This means paying on or before the first, rather than at 5 pm on the 5th.
  2. A great tenant has integrity. A good renter does not sneak in a co-renter or pet.
  3. A great tenant is reasonably clean. A trustworthy renter does not bring pests like rodents and bugs.
  4. A great renter does not destroy the home.
  5. An ideal tenant is courteous and pleasant to get along with. A good tenant knows the difference between a property manager and a hotel concierge.
  6. A trustworthy renter doesn't disturb neighbors.
  7. A trustworthy renter reports problems when appropriate. Renters that don't report maintenance issues cost landlords money and cause head-aches for property managers.
  8. A trustworthy tenant doesn't gripe when it's not appropriate. This means that a trustworthy tenant doesn't demand to replace functioning systems. A good renter doesn't expect more than the lease provides. A great renter doesn't complain that an appliance doesn't work when the renter doesn't know how to operate the appliance.
  9. A desirable renter does not smoke in the home.
  10. A reliable tenant is looking for a lease that is as long as the landlord wants to rent the rental.

So this is what we're looking for in a tenant, but how do we find renters who live up to this standard? Experience has taught us that difficult renters can appear as polite, nicely-dress, well educated people with good jobs. We have a knack for sniffing out difficult renters.


Our Five Step Process

Fair Housing Laws and our conscience dictates that we do not judge people in Fairfax County based upon appearance.  Experience has taught us that appearances can be very decieving. We do however assess potential tenants based upon their track record and their actions. If a applicant is difficult with our staff at the beginning, they will probably be rude as tenants. If a potential tenant is caught fabricating facts, we can expect them to be untrustworthy as a tenant.  If a potential tenant has difficulty scrounging up certified fundsfor background fees and the first month of rent, we will expect that same person will have difficulty while they are in the rental.

But even if every statement initially is promising we still vet each potential tenant with a complete background check. Every potential renter and occupant must submit a government-issue photo identification. From there, as property managers we start our vetting process.

How we protect the landlord’s interests in Fairfax County:Nesbitt Realty is committed to Fair Housing

  1. We Check The Applicant’s Credit History
  2. We Investigate The Applicant’s Criminal History
  3. We Investigate The Applicant’s Rental History
  4. We Look For Internal Consistency In The Rental Application
  5. We Want To Know If The Applicant Can Afford The Rent

Fairfax County Property Management Resources


Fundamental info about what management services in Fairfax County.

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Getting Started

Learn more about getting started with property management

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Find A Tenant

List your property to rent to find a dependable renter in Fairfax County fast.

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How does Nesbitt Realty keep track of income and expenses for landlords?

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A breakdown of prices of rental management in Fairfax County

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How Nesbitt Realty checks the backgrounds of tenants for our clients.

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What is a contingency reserve account?

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Where does Nesbitt Realty manage rental investments?

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Who uses Nesbitt Realty management services?

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Call (703)765-0300 to speak to a rental specialist now.


Our recommendation

After the background check is reviewed we make a recommendation to the real estate investor based upon our experience as rental managers in Fairfax County and the information which we have verified. Ultimately the landlord decides if the risk is worth taking, but they make that decision based upon facts and our expert advice.

Do you need understand more about our area?

Our Guide to Real Estate is a helpful tool for anyone who needs to learn more about Fairfax County and nearby areas.  The Guide to Real Estate compiles data about what has sold and what is currently listed, as well as a few surprising facts that you might not be aware of.  In addition, our Guide spotlights quite a few of the aspects of residing in Fairfax County.  Of course, all of this is interesting for buyers and sellers, but rental investors and tenants should also find these tools to be quite useful.

Our Broker Will Nesbitt

Nesbitt Team
Nesbitt Team

"I am by nature a trusting person, but this business has taught me to verify every statement that a tenant makes. Scammers and bad tenants can sometimes give every appearance of being trustworthy and upright people. We never cut corners on background checks." ~ Will Nesbitt

Julie Nesbitt

Julie Nesbitt
Julie Nesbitt sold another!

 I like tenants that pay on time. Late paying tenants cause extra work and unnecessary stress for landlords and property managers. ~ Julie Nesbitt