Today we are talking to property owners about how to properly screen for the best tenants. It seems like a pretty straightforward process, but you’d be surprised at how basic screening principles can be ignored.
A lot of property owners who manage their own properties go by instinct. They might have an open house to show the property and a number of potential tenants will see it, and the property owner picks the people that seemed most likeable. I can’t stress this enough: going by your gut is the wrong way to find a tenant. You’re setting yourself up for getting a tenant who has credit deficiencies or a history of evictions and you won’t even know it. If you’re not following a systematic, consistent approach with how you deal with all potential renters, you’re also setting yourself up for fair housing issues. The fallout from these types of claims can be extremely expensive and time consuming.
In order to screen all potential tenants properly:
Take the time to call every single reference, particularly the previous landlords.
Run a credit report and go through it in detail.
Some people have blemishes on their credit histories; those aren’t necessarily disqualifying events. What you need to look for in these situations is how the potential tenant chooses to address it. Do they proactively explain their situation? Or do they try to avoid it and make excuses? These are telling signs about what kind of tenants they’ll be.
Follow the same process with everyone, and have clearly defined rental criteria. I can’t stress this enough.
Leasing to great tenants is the best thing you can do for the success of your rental property. But the screening process is time consuming and can be difficult, especially if you don’t know the best practices to follow, or the proper questions to ask.
If you’re ready to hire a professional property management company, contact us at MV Properties and we’ll give you the best service in the business.