Have you ever had nightmare tenants? Not only can this be stressful to manage, but it could also impact your investment returns and financial wellbeing. This is why tenant screening is such an important process and you need to have a robust tenant screening process in place to identify the best tenants. The best tenants will pay on time, protect your property and cause no issues.
So, what should tenant screening include to find the best tenants?
ID & Verification
First, you need to check that tenants hold valid IDs and are who they say they are. You should check that their ID information matches their credit report and contact their employer to confirm that all of the information is correct.
Credit Score Check
Following on from this, new tenants should always be screened with a credit check before entering an agreement. This will highlight any previous financial issues that could raise questions about their reliability while also giving you the chance to see if they will be able to afford to pay rent, utilities and other costs.
Criminal Background Check
You should always conduct a criminal background check when screening new tenants. Many landlords are receptive to taking on ex-convicts, but it is still important to check state and national crime records to learn about any previous convictions that you and the neighbors should be aware of.
Previous Landlord Reports
One of the most important steps in the tenant screening process is to contact previous landlords. This can reveal a lot of important information about the tenant and help you to make an informed decision. A few basic questions that you should ask include:
- Did they pay rent on time?
- Do they have an eviction report and why?
- Were there any issues during the tenancy?
- What state did they leave the property in?
- Would you rent to them again?
Outside of financial checks to determine whether or not they can afford to live in your rental property, speaking to previous landlords will be the key check in any tenant screening process.
It is also smart to meet with potential tenants either face-to-face or by phone. This will help you to get a better idea of what they are like and allow you to get any questions that you have answered. A few examples of questions that you could ask include:
- Why are you looking to move home?
- When are you looking to move in?
- How long do you plan on staying?
- What kind of activities do you participate in at home?
- Do you have pets
- Do you smoke?
Meeting with a potential tenant should be helpful for making a decision and you should go with your instincts in situations like this. You can also use a property management company to handle the tenant screening process and find someone that is the right fit.
Tenant Screening Made Easy
This tenant screening checklist should help you to find the best tenants for your property. You will want to find tenants that will pay rent on time, look after your property and not cause any issues, but these people are not always easy to find.
Contact us today to find out how we could find new tenants for your rental that will help you to maximize returns on your investment and provide peace of mind.