Tenant screening is one of the most crucial aspects of being a profitable landlord. It is easy to let a renter live in your rental unit. However, if they stop paying rent, run up huge bills, or cause damage, you will have big bills to pay—either a costly eviction, property repair, or offering a cash for keys deal.
When you get a responsible tenant, you might still have the odd problem. However, you’ll probably never have issues with collecting rent on time or property damage.
How can you ensure you rent your properties to the right type of tenant? Tenant screening is an absolute must if you want to avoid a bad tenant.
Of course, you can pay companies to find the right tenants. But it’s not a difficult task to screen tenants yourself. This gives you a much better idea of who will be living in your rental units. There are also some top-class rent collection apps that incorporate tenant screening in their features.
The article aims to guide you through the process of tenant screening.
The Tenant Application
Before the screening begins, your first step is to collect the tenant’s application form. The application form should contain enough information to get a general idea of the prospective tenant. Make sure the application contains employment history and rental history. You also need to collect financial information, such as income and expenses, to ensure they have the resources to pay rent.
You should have contact information for previous landlords and employers so that you can confirm what the tenant has stated. Finally, with regard to the application, watch out for gaps in employment or accommodation history. These could be a red flag, as they may want to keep incriminating information from you.
Now that you have a complete application, you can begin the tenant screening process.
It’s usually best to get the tenant to pay for the screening process. This gives you permission to check their credit history, any previous evictions, and criminal background. However, it’s always best to check with your state’s law on what you can and can’t check.
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