Tenant screening can be a key process when it comes to finding a good tenant for your valued property. Keep reading in order to learn more!
Tenant screening is a really good way to assess potential applicants who seek to rent your property. As you may know, not everyone will be reliable or willing to pay on time, follow rules and adopt good behavior.
Checking the background of potential applicants, as well as interviewing and asking them additional questions, can be an excellent way to weed out potentially bad tenants and focus your efforts on a candidate who ticks your boxes and match your parameters. How can you get started?
Establishing Your Ideal Tenant
The first step for most landlords is to establish what their ideal tenant will look like. “Will this person (or group of people) be a good fit with my property?” is a very important question, and many landlords should seek to answer that. In some cases, landlords even go as far as setting specific criteria for themselves in order to further refine their threshold. For instance, even occupancy rules could also be seen as a form of screening. Just to give you an example, clauses such as “No Smoking” or “No Pets” are already a pretty effective way for landlords to screen out potential smokers or pet owners.
Ask Specific Questions
Interviewing potential ideal tenants can be a great way to gather valuable insights on them. Simple, but effective questions such as “Why are you moving?” can really reveal a lot about a person. If the answer or circumstances seem shady, you can already possibly spot some red flags. There are many positive reasons why someone would move (starting a new job, looking for a better family home…) but there are just as many awful reasons, such as being fired for bad behavior or being kicked out from a previous place.
It is also important to be quite upfront about the financial aspect. You can ask potential tenants if they will be able to pay the security deposit and first month’s rent upon moving in. Beware of people who ask for extensions on paying the security deposit right away, because this might mean that they could continue being late on payments! The worse way to start a landlord/tenant relationship is to already have the tenant in debt!
Credit screening, employer references, criminal records…These are all excellent tools for landlords to further investigate a potential tenant and make sure to avoid issues down the line. If your potential tenant has issues with being asked for a credit check or other forms of background checks, there might be a chance that they might actually try something from you, and as you might guess, this is often not the best indication a good renter!
To make a return on your investment, renting to the right people is absolutely vital: don’t take chances on the wrong kind of tenants!