How to Screen a Prospective Tenant for Your Rental Property

tenantriskverification June 4, 2012 0

By Elaine Bernabe

For a landlord who has plans of selling their home in the future it is important that you preserve not only the value of your property but its good condition. And this can only be attained through proper rental property management. And the first step in correct property management is ensuring that you get the right tenant to live in your rental property.





These days, finding a good and decent tenant for a rental property is not an easy task. As a property owner, you have to be cautious in screening out the good tenants from the delinquent ones. As a landlord, you would not want to see your home being destroyed by occupants who does not know how to preserve the good state of your rental property. And as an investor, you don’t want to rent your house to a tenant who is not capable of fulfilling their obligation to pay their rent. On the other hand, there are landlords who still fail to give time and extra effort to get to know and screen their potential renters before they accept a tenant and sign the lease agreement. Today, it is easier than ever to learn more information about your applicant because background and credit checks are more accessible.

Here are the steps you can undertake in screening your prospective tenants:

1. Let your prospect tenants fill out an application form, this should include basic information about the applicant such as full name, date of birth, address and social security number. Moreover, put a space for rental history information, employment record and other information that can help them qualify as a good tenant. Inform them that the information they have supplied on the form will be used for further background and/or credit check. Lastly, make sure that the applicants sign the form.

2. Undertake an online research on each applicant using your preferred search engine. Try to search for their names. They may have their social networking profiles, blogs and websites. If auspiciously, you happen to find any public information about them, take time to review and have a hint of what kind of character each applicant possess. At this point, you can now start screening out the applicants that you think does not fit to be your tenant. In case, you failed to obtain any information about a prospective tenant, simply skip this step.

3. Conduct a background check on each potential tenant. There are many background-checking services that can be found on the web. You can also do a back ground check on your own by calling the local police department or court system where the applicant presently resides.

4. Execute a credit check on any applicants who passed the first two stages of tenant screening process. Or you can merely ask your potential renters a copy of their credit report.

5. Perform a character investigation on the remaining applicants. Contact all the character reference they have indicated in their forms. Ask these people about the applicant’s traits, character and trustworthiness. If they included the name of their past landlord in the tenant screening form, give the landlord a phone call and ask about their past relationship with your prospect client, the reason why the tenant have to move in another home, the tenant’s consistency in paying the rent.

6. Lastly, schedule an interview for each prospective renter. You can talk to them by means of touring them in the property. This can be a great opportunity for you to get to know each applicant better. While you are touring them in your home start to ask questions like “What made them decide to move in?” and other questions that can help you decide whether the applicant qualified to be your tenant.

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