Houston has an average rental vacancy rate of about 10% despite the high demand for rental units. Maybe you find that you're getting plenty of applicants but your tenants break their leases or don't resign for another year.
If you're facing high tenant turnover, it's time to reevaluate how you choose your tenants. Not every tenant who applies for a lease is the best choice for your property.
What should a tenant background check in Houston include? How can you make this process smoother for both you and your applicants?
Read on for three ways to conduct tenant background checks.
1. Gathering the Facts
One of the most important things to consider during a tenant background check is credit history. Checking an applicant's credit history tells you far more than their credit score. It will also tell you what kind of debt they're currently carrying as well as their history of paying off debt on time.
You may also want to run a criminal background check. To do so in Houston, you need to make sure that you're not violating any federal or state laws. For example, you can't run a criminal background check unless an applicant gives you their written consent.
2. Talking with References
Some valuable information won't show up in your credit and criminal background checks. If you want a more thorough picture of your applicant's character, you may also include a list of references in your application. This can include friends and employers but most importantly, it should include previous landlords.
Would an applicant's last landlord rent a unit to them again? Did they leave the property in good condition and generally comply with the lease during their tenancy? There is more to being a desirable tenant than paying rent on time, and references can give you a well-rounded sense of how an applicant will fit into your rental property.
3. Outsourcing Your Tenant Background Check
Landlords tend to skip tenant background checks because they don't have the time or resources for them. If adding an extra step to your leasing process isn't possible for you right now, it's time to outsource some or all of your property management.
Property managers do more than help you establish reasonable rent or advertise your property to interested parties. At Precision Realty and Management, we'll handle tenant background checks to match you with the best tenants for your property and reduce your tenant turnover rate.
Get Professional Tenant Screening in Houston, Texas
If you want to beat that 10% tenant vacancy slump that so many property owners experience in Houston, it's time to improve your tenant background check. A thorough tenant background check will give you more insight into an applicant's financial situation and character, steering you toward better and more reliable tenants every time.
Do you need help with tenant screening, advertising, tenant relations, or property management? Precision Realty and Management is one of Houston's leading property management companies with over 30 years of experience. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.