Tenant Screening: 3 Typical Mistakes Landlords Make

tenantriskverification April 19, 2012 0

By Jan

After the initial interview and property tour, the following logical step landlords will most likely take is having a criminal record fill in an application form. This method will give you as a private landlord your potential tenant’s name, SSN, current contacts as well as the details of their previous residence.  The knowledge provided on these applications is important in helping you conduct tenant screening. With the consent of the applicant you are able to screen your prospective renter. Ensure that you consider an application fee to pay for you cost of the tenant credit screening.


When you go to a credit-screening agency to operate a credit check about the applicant, they will provide a report that contains a comprehensive account of their payment history. Most notable report is information about irregular payments, payment defaults and another red flags that can help you determine whether the applicant will pose a credit risk.

Usually, in relation to tenant credit screening score’s anything above 600 is considered good with scores below 600 considered more risky.  However, we highly recommend being extremely cautious with credit scores because there are many problems with the accuracy of credit reports.   We place far more emphasis on finding all outstanding open collection accounts, evictions, judgments, and bankruptcies.

While tenant credit screening may furnish you with sufficient information to shortlist applicants, it’s not necessarily comprehensive enough to help you make a well-informed decision.  You’ll find three areas that private landlords make mistake of overlooking during tenant screening. These are previous rental history, checking should the tenant has a criminal background and verifying their employment information.

Rental History

While using the details the applicant provided in the application form, you can contact their former private landlord to have information on what type of a tenant they were. Previous private landlords in many cases are an invaluable and reliable way to obtain information because they rarely if ever, have a motive to lie.

They will let you know how prompt the tenant was at paying rent, whether were ever late or whether left without paying. You’ll also want to know how well the tenant cared for the property.  After all, the worst thing you want is a tenant racking up your bills due to growing expense of repairs. Take note; in the event the tenant was evicted, it lets you know that not only is it rent defaulters but they more than likely will be uncooperative when you buy them vacate the property.

Criminal Convictions

Even though criminal background checks are generally at the discretion with the landlord, performing it’s possible to save you a lot of trouble in the future. Criminal records are maintained as public information, and therefore you can carry out thorough investigations yourself to determine if your applicant that’s passed tenant credit screening includes a criminal history.  In some states in the US, such a search can be conducted online. As being a private landlord, you reserve the best of admittance on your property – as a result you can use this information to disqualify any applicant.

Verifying employment

Unlike tenant screening, verifying employment is rather straightforward. All you need to do should be to either visit or call their employer to verify that the tenant indeed still works there. Will not rely on the contacts the tenant may provide because it is possible to collude with a third party to corroborate false information. Instead, book the directory for the firm’s contacts so you can be certain you are calling your prospective tenant’s employer. Tenant screening is significant but don’t make the mistakes above as the other checks are simply as important for you to pick the best tenants.

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