Paying attention to tenant screening best practices will keep you on the right track towards renting your home to a qualified tenant who will pay rent on time every month. Many evictions can be prevented with a better tenant screening process, so pay attention to yours.
When you are interviewing a prospective tenant and showing that person your property, it’s a good idea to begin an informal screening process before an application is even filled out. You can have a conversation that helps you get an understanding of that person’s employment history and what kind of rental experiences there have been in the past. Ask as many questions as you can before you even begin to do any screening. When a tenant answers those questions or tells you a story, make sure everything adds up. The applicant’s answers should make sense and everything that is said should be documented or verifiable. If something seems off or your intuition tells you that something isn’t right about the tenant or his story, it’s a good idea to trust that. A lot of owners are so concerned with getting their house rented; they often have a problem following their own intuition. That can get you into trouble, so pay attention.
The purpose of tenant screening is to avoid unnecessary problems down the road. It also protects your property from the damage a bad tenant can do. Talk to the applicant as much as you can, and then check everything on the application thoroughly. You also want to make sure an applicant has a good credit score. Most people agree that past behavior is a good predictor of future behavior. So, if an applicant has a strong credit score, it’s probably an indication that bills are paid on time. One of the largest bills to be paid is rent every month.
Tenant screening must be taken seriously, and if you’re not working with a professional property manager, consider getting some professional help so you can be sure you’re getting the best tenant out there. If you have any questions, or you’d like help designing a screening process, please contact us at Leading Properties.