Knowing how to screen a tenant properly is something you need to understand as a landlord, especially if you don’t have the benefit of working with a professional property management company. We have all heard tenant horror stories about those tenants who did not pay rent or completely destroyed the property. Those are the worst things that can happen to landlords, and you can avoid those big issues when you screen tenants well up front. Today, we’re sharing some of the things we do as a property management company.
Checking Credit and Criminal Backgrounds
Take a look at your applicant’s credit report so you can get a good idea of how they manage money. You’re also looking for collections from past rental companies and evictions. We also do a criminal background check.
We like talking to current landlords so we can find out what kind of tenant an applicant has been. We always ask if they paid rent on time, took good care of the property, and gave proper notice about their intention to move out.
Income and Employment
An income and employment verification is necessary to find out how much the applicant is earning and whether they can afford rent. Make sure the employment information on the application matches up with what you find out when you call employers.
Deciding to Approve or Decline
If you get an applicant who does not meet all the criteria, you can ask for a double deposit to mitigate the risk. For example, someone with an old credit problem might still make a good tenant. However, if an applicant fails to meet most of your criteria, you’re probably better off declining the application. You definitely want to say no to any tenants who have prior evictions or rental collections on the credit report. Bad rental histories are also good reasons to decline an applicant. It’s better to decline a tenant than to have problems down the road.
As a company, we accept about half the applications we get. You don’t lose a lot of marketing time waiting for the right tenant. It’s worth it. If you have any questions about tenant screening or anything pertaining to Austin property management, please contact us at AustinVestors.