Skip to main content

How to Screen a Tenant: The Basics Explained

How to Screen a Tenant: The Basics Explained

Are you a landlord looking for new tenants for your property? Whether you're new to renting or are a property manager for a landlord, finding good tenants takes a lot of work and effort.

From conducting background checks and checking credit scores to complying with the tenant/landlord laws in your state, it's a process you should be prepared for.

Keep reading to learn how to screen a tenant, what to check for, and how to find the best tenants for your standards and property.

Understand Tenant Screening Laws in Houston, Texas

Though screening a tenant is necessary before you rent out your property, you should first get acquainted with the tenant screening laws and regulations. The laws are there to protect both the landlord and the tenant in different ways.

As a landlord, the laws apply to you to prevent discrimination when choosing tenants. The laws also outline which steps to take in order to evict someone legally. Make sure you read the state laws or consult a lawyer before you make and sign any contracts with tenants.

Conduct a Tenant Background Check

Conducting a background check for each new tenant is a must if you want to avoid future problems. If the results show the prospective tenant has a criminal record, depending on the severity, you can discuss it with them.

Background checks can also help you avoid sexual offenders, terrorists, murderers, and other types of criminals. Double-check the tenants' information to make sure you spelled their names correctly to prevent false results.

Check the Tenants' Credit Score

Another important part of the tenant screening process is checking their credit score. This is to make sure they pay their bills on time and that they're financially responsible.

Though you can reject a tenant based on their credit report, you need to inform them about their right to get a free credit report from reporting agencies.

Verify Tenants' Income and Employment

Verifying a tenant's income and employment is one of the most important landlord tips to remember. Ask for the employer's contact information, proof of income, and any other paperwork. This should prove the tenant can afford to pay the rent and all the expenses that come with it.

Check the Tenants' Rental History

If you're becoming a landlord for the first time, don't forget to check the tenants' rental and eviction history. This will tell you everything you need to know about their behavior, what to expect, and how to deal with any issues that come up. Ask for previous landlords' contact information or references to make sure the tenants are right for you.

Follow These Tips To Learn How to Screen a Tenant in Houston, TexasWay

Whether this is your first time renting out a unit or you're investing in multiple rental properties, learning how to screen a tenant can save you a lot of time and money. By triple-checking who you're renting to, you'll always choose the best tenants for your property and prevent future problems.

Need a specific property management quote for your rental unit in Houston, Texas? Contact us today to learn more about our services and let us take care of your property the right way.