Let's be honest: not every person makes a great tenant. And, as a landlord, you have more tasks to deal with than neighbor complaints and late rent. That's why it's essential to ensure you're getting the best tenants possible.
But how do you do that? With a comprehensive tenant screening, of course. Investing time into screening tenants upfront can save you a lot of hassle in the future.
So here are five tenant screening tips all landlords should know.
1. Document Qualification Criteria
Create criteria that are race-, gender-, and disability-neutral. Your criteria may include an income requirement, credit history, or recommendations. Minimum criteria to meet can help weed out some applicants.
Documenting these qualifications can also protect you if a denied applicant feels like they have been discriminated against. If you ever need to take the matter to court, your legal tenant screening criteria can be your defense.
2. Contact Previous Landlords
To get the best applicants, they might need a recommendation. Don't only contact their previous landlord; contact the last two or three. This will give you a better idea of their rental history and how they are as a tenant.
By contacting previous landlords, you can find out if they pay their rent on time or if they like to throw parties that trash the property on the weekends.
3. Verify Income Sources
One factor that should always be included in a tenant screening report is the applicant's income. And with today's technology, paystubs can be easy to forge, so take the time to verify their sources of income.
You may also want to take it a step further and ask the applicant for three months worth of bank statements. This process can reduce the chances of falling prey to a fraudulent paystub.
4. Run Background Checks
Most tenant screening services will do a thorough background check on the applicants. This is, of course, essential to make sure you're allowing the best possible tenant to move in.
But you shouldn't only check the applicant. Be sure to do a background check on all adults who would be living in the home. This prevents you from being tricked at the start of the application process.
5. Consider a Property Manager
Property managers often have access to the best tenant screening services, among other benefits.
Property managers can take a few tasks off your plate, like staying up to date on the housing laws and regulations and screening applicants. This can free up your time for more day-to-day tasks or even personal time.
Have One Less Headache with Tenant Screening
Being a landlord comes with many tasks. And tenants that give you headaches should be the least of your worries. Do you want someone who is respectful and will pay the rent on time?
Then you should follow these tenant screening tips to help you find the best residents for your apartment, condo, or rental home. Invest a little extra time initially and have one less headache in the future.
Interested in having your property managed for you? Reach out to our experts for more information.