Landlords usually select the tenants who approach them first, without investing much time and efforts to determine if the person is the right candidate or not. Decisions made in such haste mostly result into finding the tenants who were extremely undesirable or sometimes, simply a ‘nightmare’ for the landlords. Without proper and in-depth screening, you may end up finding the tenants who are noisy, damage property, disturb the neighbors, avoid timely payment of rent or break the rules and become a complete nuisance for you. In short, a wrong decision while taking in the tenants can lead you to huge unpaid rent, expensive repairs of property, eviction or legal costs and much more.
In order to save yourself from this unwanted trouble, you can easily conduct an in-depth tenant screening for all the approaching applicants. To prevent the risk factor, in this regard, you can conduct a comprehensive and detailed screening of the prospective tenants, and do a number of important things that would lead you to find just the perfect applicant. In this article, you will find all the information that you must know for finding the ‘perfect tenants’, and have a long term peace of mind.
What is meant by Tenant Screening?
The Tenant Screening is a process in which you can evaluate all the relevant details of prospective tenants. It would not be limited to just the information provided by the applicant, rather, will do the in depth investigation to determine if the prospective tenants would abide by the terms of lease, take care of the rental property, and be good tenant as expected by the landlords. This process of tenant screening would include analyzing and verifying the provided information of the applicants and also the other publicly available information of the tenants. In this way, you can be provided with all the important, available and verified information about the applicant.
What in the Benefit of Tenant Screening?
There are countless benefits of the tenant screening process as it can lead you to the right direction and enable you to understand about the kind of tenants the applicants would turn out to be. You can easily decide to approve an application of tenancy, apply specific conditions before approving, or deny any applicant altogether. A thorough screening is the best way to reach to the absolute degree of surety if a tenant would be a perfect one for your property or would create problems for you in future.
What are the Qualities of a Good Tenant?
If you are looking for good tenants they must have the following qualities:
- The consistently pay full rent on time.
- They are not a threat to the peace of the surrounding, or the security of the neighborhood.
- Maintain the excellent condition of the property by taking care and keeping it clean.
- Don’t engage in any illegal activities on the property.
- They possess the traits of honesty and trustfulness.
- Now, let’s find out all that you need to know about the tenant screening process and how it will be helpful to find the great tenants.
Tenant Screening Process:
The very first step is to get a detailed tenant application form filled up by the prospective tenants. This application form is designed to gather all the relevant and important information about the applicants. Above than just the basic information such as name, date of birth or social security number, you need to ask more questions from prospective tenants to find a clear view about them.
There are certain things that you must know about the applicants related to their personal, financial, employment history and social life to have a better picture of what kind of tenants you would expect. However, you must be careful before asking any question and be fully aware of the Local fair housing laws. These are some laws that would not allow you to ask specific questions from a prospective tenant. If you need to know about the applicable fair housing laws, you must consult a real estate lawyer.
You can ask some of the following questions to get to know more about the applicants:
- How long was your previous tenancy?
- How long have you planned to stay here?
- What is your occupation?
- How many people do we expect to live on this property?
- Why are you interested in this property?
- When have you planned to move in?
- Can you please provide any references from previous landlords?
- Do you own a pet?
Make sure that applicant fill out all the required queries of the form. You must bear in mind that the provided information can be fake or twisted. It is always better to investigate deeper and verify the provided information further.
Running Credit History Check
In tenant screening process, running credit history check plays a vital role in finding out the financial position of the potential tenants. In this way you can determine if the tenants will be able to meet their financial obligations or not. The inconsistent or delayed payment of billing can give you a clear view of the future rent-paying situation of the potential tenants. On the other hand, if the applicant has heavy debt to pay or does extremely delayed payments, than you have not met to the ‘right’ tenant.
Running a Background Check
The proper background check is essential part of the process because in this way you can have a clear image of the tenants ‘past and determine the problematic conditions that you may face in future.
The detailed background check will include the following aspects:
- You need to have a criminal history report to find out if the potential tenant has been convicted of any criminal act. The type and severity of the crime are some of the factors that you need to know before deciding for the suitability of the applicant.
- You need to get the rental or eviction history report, to know about the reasons of the previous eviction and save yourself from future trouble in this matter.
- You must verify the employment history report of the applicant to find out if the potential client will be able to afford the rent or not on regular basis.
If conducting a detailed tenant screening is a hassle for you, there are many service providers that you can hire for you help. A thorough and professional tenant screen by the service providers can make your life easy and hassle free.