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

What we look for in Harrisonburg renters

In Harrisonburg, our team prefers to work with reliable tenants. Here are a few of the traits we expect.

  1. A great 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 good renter is trustworthy. A desirable tenant does not sneak in a co-tenant or pet.
  3. A great tenant is neat. A desirable renter does not bring pests like rodents and bugs.
  4. An ideal tenant does not damage the property.
  5. A good renter is courteous and pleasant to get along with. A good tenant knows the difference between a property manager and a hotel concierge.
  6. A reliable tenant doesn't bother neighbors.
  7. A desirable tenant complains at appropriate times. Renters that don't report maintenance issues cost landlords money and cause head-aches for property managers.
  8. A trustworthy tenant doesn't complain when it's not appropriate. This means that a great tenant doesn't demand to replace functioning systems. An ideal tenant doesn't expect more than the lease provides. A great renter doesn't complain that an appliance doesn't work when the tenant doesn't know how to operate the appliance.
  9. An ideal renter does not smoke in the property.
  10. A reliable tenant is looking for a rental term that is as long as the real estate investor wants to rent the home.

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


Our Five Step Process

Fair Housing Laws and our conscience dictates that we do not judge people in Harrisonburg based upon appearance.  Experience has taught us that appearances can be very decieving. We do however judge applicants based upon their track record and their actions. If a applicant is difficult with our managers from the start, they will probably be trying as tenants. If a potential tenant makes false statements, we will expect them to be untrustworthy as a renter.  If a potential tenant has a problem scrounging up certified fundsfor background fees and the first month of rent, we can expect that same potential renter will have problems while they are in the rental.

But even if every statement initially is good we still check the background of every person with a full 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 Harrisonburg: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

Harrisonburg Property Management Resources


Elementary information about what property management in Harrisonburg.

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Getting Started

Learn more about getting started with property management

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Find A Tenant

Market your property to rent to find a reliable tenant in Harrisonburg fast.

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

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A list of fees associated with rental management services in Harrisonburg

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How Nesbitt Realty vets tenants for landlords.

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What is a contingency reserve account?

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Where does Nesbitt Realty manage rentals?

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Who uses Nesbitt Realty management services?

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Call (703)765-0300 to speak to a property manager now.


Our recommendation

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

Should you know more about this local real estate market?

Nesbitt Realty's Guide to Real Estate is a helpful resource for anyone who wants to review important real estate information about Harrisonburg and nearby communities.  The Guide to Real Estate includes data regarding what has sold and what is on the market, and some compelling facts that you might not know.  And, our Guide spotlights some fundamentals of living in Harrisonburg.  Of course, most of this is interesting for buyers and sellers, but rental investors and tenants will likely also find these tools to be quite eye-opening.

Our Broker Will Nesbitt

Will Nesbitt at his office in Alexandria VA

"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

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