We truly believe the tenant screening process is one of the most critical processes in our industry. The more thorough the process the more success you will have with tenants. Thorough screening will result in timely payments, proper maintenance of the property and compliance with the lease . Performing as much due diligence upfront with the application is very important. That being said, running a credit report simply is not enough. Also during this difficult economic time, damaged credit can be more common. Accepting a tenant with less than stellar credit can still provide the owner with a good tenant, although additional deposits should be collected to offset the credit risk.
A criminal background is also a very important part of the screening process. As an owner, you want to be certain that each tenant is screened with a background check to avoid any future liability. It is also important to verify that they do not have any previous evictions. Any potential tenant with an eviction should not be considered. We would also discourage approval of any applicant who owes outstanding money to a previous landlord or apartment community.
Employment should also be verified directly with the employer. Verification of income should occur to ensure the tenant makes three times the monthly rental amount in gross wages. Also, employers should be asked about continuation of employment as well as dates of employment to be verified against the application. Any previous landlord should also be contacted directly to discuss previous rental history. The landlord should verify dates of the lease to be matched to the application along with rental monthly amount to determine if the new rent is in range with the previous rent. Other questions for the landlord should include if proper notice was given upon termination, how the property was maintained, were there any pets, any problems or disturbances, if the rent was paid late, any NSF checks and finally would they re-rent to this tenant again?
This article originally appeared on leasingorlando