5 Suggestions To Help With Tenant Screening

As a property manager, the last thing you want to experience is a negative situation that could have been avoided by selecting a more qualified tenant. If business and employers selected their employees simply by looking at their resumes and job applications, you can easily imagine why and how that wouldn’t work well at all. The same can be said about property managers and tenant screening. You can’t simply choose the best looking application and go with that person. You have to screen them using other methods. There are many different ways that a landlord can screen prospective tenants. Some of them are very simple and take hardly any time at all, whereas others are a bit more involved and can be slightly more time-consuming. We know that you are busy and may not have time to use 5 different screening methods for every rental application that comes your way. But it is still important to screen each tenant you are considering using as many ways as possible. Here are five of the most common and effective screening methods as well as why they are effective.

Credit History

Checking their credit is very important because it will give you an idea of how responsible they are with their money, as well as how experienced they are with things like credit cards, loans, utility bills, etc. Now, someone’s credit score isn’t necessarily 100% accurate in revealing the true financial nature of a given individual, but you still need to check it. Unfortunate financial downturns happen to people all the time that have absolutely nothing to do with their level of financial responsibility. So take the credit score with a grain of salt, so to speak. But most of the time, a credit score is a pretty accurate barometer of someone’s financial history. You don’t want someone with two bankruptcies and 5 past-due credit cards living in your property.

Income Verification

You definitely need to make sure that the tenant you are considering has a job and makes a steady income that is sufficient to pay the rent you are asking. There are a few different ways that you can get a prospective tenants proof of income. One easy way is to simply have them provide a few months of pay stubs from their place of employment. Some property managers prefer to require a bank statement printout from the last few months. Both ways will likely give you the information that you are looking for.

National Criminal History

The need for checking their criminal history is obvious. You’ve got to filter out the felons and sex offenders from your pile of applications. Never overlook this step in the tenant selection process.

Eviction & Rental History

Many property managers have reported being quite surprised in discovering that a tenant who seemed to be a perfectly wonderful as a choice and passed all of the methods mentioned above with flying colors, in fact, had a history of being evicted. Evictions are expensive and take a lot of time. You do not want to deal with an eviction if you can avoid it, and this is a very good way to avoid it. Make sure to check their eviction and rental history.

Interview the Prospective Tenant

This is arguably one of the best ways to select a tenant. Doing a phone or in-person interview can give you a personal and intimate look at a prospective tenant that you can’t get with computer-generated results. If you have time to do this, it is highly recommended to do so.

tenant screening

5 Suggestions To Help With Tenant Screening

Tenant Screening

Article by Clear Content Marketing