How to Navigate the Tenant Screening Process

How to Navigate the Tenant Screening Process

There are close to 1 million evictions across America every year. As a landlord, it is in your best interest to ensure your tenants don't end up as another eviction statistic.

To do this, you need to develop a thorough tenant screening process when finding new tenants. It is easy to find tenants, but great tenants are rare. If you want the best tenants you need to find a way to vet new tenants.

Here's how to avoid getting tricked by unsavory characters and instead end up with the best tenants occupying your rentals.

Conduct a Background Check

1 in 3 adults has a criminal record in America. Not all criminals will be bad tenants, but it is important to understand the type of person you are renting to.

Criminals with violent histories or those that commit crimes such as arson or burglary are not good fits for your rentals. Neither are those who have had problems with landlords in the past. Always ask for a background check.

Ask For Proof of Income

The last thing that you want is a deadbeat tenant that falls on hard times and then falls short on rent. The eviction process can be complicated and take months. You are much better off asking for proof of income or employment.

Any reliable tenant should be able to furnish this information to you willingly. If not, in the current housing shortage you can afford to wait for someone who is.

Request Money in Advance

You have the right to request a security deposit and some amount of rent paid in advance. This is most often the first month's rent and last month's rent to ensure your tenants don't skip town without paying you.

Any tenants that can't or won't pay you this amount of money in advance may not be a good choice as a renter. Find someone willing to comply with your standards.

Use References During Tenant Screening

You should ask prospective tenants for references. These can be character references in the form of friends or family. You should also ask to get some references from past landlords.

Seeing a prospective tenant's rental history is a great way to gauge how successful your relationship will be with them as a landlord.

Hire a Property Manager

Screening tenants can be a full-time job, especially if your building has a fast turnaround. It is a much better bet to hire a property manager to screen tenants for you rather than handle it yourself.

Find someone who serves where you live. For instance, if you live in Columbus, Georgia find someone who manages property in Southwestern Georgia. If you live in Phenix City, Alabama find someone who operates there as well.

Find Worthy Tenants

If you put your heart and soul into your rentals, you deserve tenants that appreciate your investment. Establishing a foolproof tenant screening process is the only way to ensure that you get reliable folks who pay rent on time.

If you need help with your tenant screening process, contact us today. We can help guide you through the tenant screening process or handle it for you entirely.