Home & Real Estate

How to Screen Tenants: An Introductory Guide

Do you want to start a rental property business?

Before you let a stranger into your rental home, you should have them screened. This way, you have a good idea of whether or not they’re going to be a good tenant.

Screening tenants is a crucial process for landlords to ensure they find reliable and responsible renters for their properties.

Learn how to screen tenants with this short and simple tenant screening guide.


Application Process

Before accepting any applications, a landlord should provide details of the rental agreement and expectations of the rental home. An application form needs to be completed by the prospective tenant that includes basic information such as:

  • name
  • address
  • income
  • employment history
  • rental history

This is used to assess a tenant’s suitability for the rental house. All applications should be complete and will be reviewed promptly.

Background and Credit Checks

After filling out the forms, a background check should be done. This helps to make sure there are no criminal records associated with the potential tenant from the past 7 years. This step can be done with the help of a third-party website or a specialized screening company.

Secondly, they need to provide proof of income, which includes verifying the veracity of the employment history and also access to the last 3-4 months of bank statements. The credit check of the tenant should also be done using a reliable credit bureau.

A good score is a positive indicator of the tenant’s financial responsibility. It is important to remember that some states require landlords to provide notice of their intentions to check an applicant’s background and credit.

Landlords should be aware of all applicable state tenant screening policies and should keep in mind the guide to renting a house that renters also look into. That way, the background and credit checks will go smoothly and within regulations.

Rental History Verification

Once you have the rental applications, you should call each applicant’s previous landlords to ask about their past rental performance. It’s important to ask about both their rental payment record and their past conduct as a tenant.

Additionally, you should consider conducting interviews with potential tenants. This helps you to get a better understanding of who they are. You can have similar questions for all tenants so that you can easily compare each applicant’s answers.

Document Everything

If the applicant is approved, then you should photograph the property and write down what it looked like before the tenant moved in. Throughout the tenancy, remember to take pictures of the tenant’s property and the property you own for record keeping.

Provide tenants with a copy of the lease agreement and make sure they sign it, then make a copy of that as well. Documenting every stage of the tenant screening process is vital to ensure the safety of both the landlord and the tenant.

Learn How to Screen Tenants

Screening tenants is a vital step to securing a great tenant. With the right tools, process, and guidelines you can get the tenants that are perfect for renting your property.

Take the time to learn how to screen tenants and get it right so you’ll be certain to make a successful rental property investment. Get started screening tenants today!

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