As a rental property owner, you know how important it is to have good tenants who will pay their rent on time and respect your property. But how do you ensure that you find them? There may not be any guarantees in life, but you can severely increase your chances of reliably finding good tenants by practicing proper tenant screening.
What do I need to know about tenant screening?
Tenant screening is an effective tool for landlords when done correctly, but there are some important guidelines that you need to note before implementing any procedures. First, it’s obviously important to follow all legal regulations regarding tenant screening. Many states and localities have vastly different laws regarding what landlords can consider and whether or not costs of the credit check can be passed on to tenants, so understand your laws before proceeding.
Additionally, make sure that any procedures you implement apply to every tenant who applies for an apartment. If you do a favor and allow your cousin’s friend to skip an application you could be opening yourself up to a discrimination lawsuit.
What qualifications are involved in tenant screening?
There are many factors that you can consider as a part of tenant screening. At a bare minimum, it’s recommended that you take the following steps before approving any lease:
Perform a credit check
The main things you want to look for on a credit check is whether the applicant has developed a history of paying bills on time and if their income to debt ratio can support the amount of the rent.
Run a criminal background check
Of course, not all criminal offenses are created equal, but if a person has shown a pattern of criminal activity over time it will be important to your decision.
Check their rental history
Ask for contact information for former landlords and contact them to determine the applicant’s rental history.
Conduct a tenant interview
Even if an applicant is able to present a good front through documents and other measures, an in-person interview can help you determine if something is off.
Choosing a partner to help you screen tenants effectively
Depending upon the size of your rental properties, tenant screening can be an added strain on your already busy schedule. Thankfully you don’t have to do it alone, because The Parker Group offers comprehensive tenant screening as a part of our property management services. Contact us today to learn more about how our property management services can help you maximize the value of your rental property.