Tenant screening is so important, and today we are going to talk to you a little bit about what to look for during your screening process. Overall, the number one reason you want to do effective tenant screening is that you really want to know who is in your property. We have talked to a number of rental property owners who have a tenant who happened to be a friend of a friend or referred by an acquaintance or maybe answered an ad, and that tenant seemed really nice when they met but then turned into a nightmare. You really need to know who’s in your property. Good tenant screening is absolutely essential.
There are a lot of companies out there who can do most of the screening for you. At a minimum, make sure you are screening to get a look at credit history, criminal background history, a nationwide eviction check, and a verification of employment status. The goal is to check everything to make sure the person is who they say they are. You also want to make sure your tenants can afford the rent and will pay it on time every month. It’s important to be diligent and thorough when you are screening a tenant. It isn’t always easy. Sometimes, the screening is a process. It can take a few days to get references checked and to do employment verification. But you don’t want to rush it. If you have a tenant who is impatient, or trying to rush things, be careful. Let the tenant know it takes time and you are working on it. Always double check and triple check everything.
Recently, we had an applicant who inquired about a property we listed and wanted to move really fast. This applicant indicated she had an eviction in the past, but she said it was her brother’s eviction and she had co-signed the lease. We said we were willing to take that into consideration, but as we were trying to do the rental verification of the place where she was currently living, she wouldn’t give us any contact information. Then, she said she wasn’t on the lease there and then she wouldn’t show us a copy of the lease. It turned out this tenant was planning to leave there without notice. It might have been easy to look past this, but we would have ended up with a problem. This is why we screen so carefully.
Do your homework, be diligent and be thorough. Remember it’s not about finding any tenant; it’s about finding the right tenant. If you have any questions on tenant screening or you need additional information, please contact us at Rent it Network.