It is incredibly important to develop a solid, effective screening process for all of your tenants. This can ensure that you rent your property to good quality tenants that are more likely to stay for longer, pay their rent on time, and follow all of your rules. A tenant screening process may seem time-consuming and unnecessary, but it will save you a significant amount of money and stress in the long run. Here at Keyrenter, we implement a 13-point screening process to help find quality tenants and weed out the poor choices. Here are the top 10 tactics for screening tenants effectively.
1. Make a List of your Rental Standards
It is important to make a list of your set standards to ensure that you obtain high-quality tenants. Having these standards written will aid you in the decision making process, ensure that everyone is on the same page, and provide you with proof as to why an individual was rejected if they claim it was on a discriminatory basis.
2. Contact Previous Landlords
Though an individual may have pristine credit and background checks, their behavior may indicate that they are less than ideal tenants. You can discern their behavioral habits by contacting their previous landlords. Be careful of only contacting their current landlord, as they may talk them up simply to get rid of them.
3. Hold an In-Person Interview
As previously mentioned, an individual’s credit and background will not necessarily reflect their character. By holding an in-person interview, you can get a more accurate grasp on the individual and their trustworthiness.
4. Trust your Instincts
If you have a bad feeling about someone, follow up on it. Though credit and background checks are generally reliable indicators of a prospective tenant, there may be something off. It is possible that they are using a stolen identity or that there is something else that is wrong with the process.
5. Verify Employment
Call their employer and verify their employment. Ask how long they have worked there, if they can verify the stated income, and more. You should also require copies of their most recent paystubs or proof of any other listed income.
6. Contact References
Contacting the references they have provided can give you more insight regarding the underlying character of the prospective tenant.
7. Check for Stability
Examine their previous circumstances for stability. See how long they have been at their current job or at their previous residence. Be wary of an individual that seems to have a rather unstable lifestyle.
8. Perform Background Checks
Background checks are absolutely vital. They can inform you regarding previous violations, particularly violent crimes or drug crimes. However, be careful to consider the laws of your state before rejecting a potential tenant based on their background check.
9. Obtain Credit Reports
A credit report is another vital step in the tenant screening process. It can ensure that the tenant is likely to make all of their payments on time, as well as if they have had previous evictions.
10. Follow the Law
It is important to never reject a prospective tenant based on discrimination. Familiarize yourself with the laws, as well as if there is a Fair Housing Act in your state.
To learn more about completing an effective tenant screening process, contact our experts at the Keyrenter in Jacksonville today!