Time Tested Tenant Screening Tips

Tenant screening is quite literally one of the keys to the success of owning rental properties.

When an owner properly screens their tenants, they can have confidence in the quality of the people living in their rental properties and peace of mind that rent will be paid on time.

If you’re new to owning investment properties or are looking for tenant screening tips, this article will provide you with time tested tenant screening tips that you can use to grow your portfolio of investment properties.

Tenant Screening Tips You Should Be Using

Develop a written tenant screening criterion – This step is critical in finding new tenants because you want to establish a pattern of fairness and balance with each tenant. Your tenant screening criteria should also show that you choose tenants regardless of their gender, race, disabilities or familial status.

Verify how they get paid – 10-20 years ago it was hard to fake a paycheck stub, now anyone can go to Google Images and create a paycheck stub in minutes using the image and their favorite image editing software. This is why landlords must always verify that an applicant is still working for the company that they listed on their rental application. Doing this will help a landlord to avoid renting to tenants who only want to scam them with fake rental references.

Research the applicant online – Thanks to the Internet, and social media, it’s easier than ever before to do a background check on tenants. Doing this is important because many people aren’t afraid to post their “true” selves on social media and learning more about what an applicant is really like could save you the trouble of potentially renting to a problem tenant.

Get in touch with previous landlords – When communicating with previous landlords, it’s also important to research those individuals online to confirm that they are indeed the said landlord of an applicant’s previous renal property and not someone who is posing as a landlord.

Run background checks on adults – Don’t hesitate to run background checks on each adult living in the rental property. Doing this will help to eliminate the possibility of renting to someone who has something to hide and guarantee that you know everything there is to know about your future tenants before renting to them.

Avoid making written comments that are not based on your rental criteria – Many landlords have set themselves up for lawsuits in recent years because they made comments on their tenant’s rental applicants that nothing to do with the landlords’ rental criteria.

To avoid potential housing discrimination claims, landlords should stick with their screening criteria and not deviate from it.

Contact GoldenWest Management

Are you tired of managing your investment properties yourself? At GoldenWest Management, we can offer you a wide variety of property management services including rent collection, accounting, maintenance, customer service and more!

To speak with us about our property management services contact us today by calling (866) 545-5303 or click here to connect with us online.

Challenges in being a landlord

At Goldenwest Management, we’ve managed properties for hundreds of landlords, and worked with hundreds more tenants over the past decade.  Most of you who follow this blog know that being a landlord isn’t easy.  Tenants come in a variety of personality and quirks.  If you are lucky enough to find the one that improves your property, then thank your lucky stars because these types of tenants are a rarity.  Most tenants will fall into an average range where the rent is paid on time, and no major issues arise.  The trick is to avoid the problem tenants.  These may be difficult to spot unless you have a seasoned screening process.  Even then, bad tenants can slip through the cracks.  For example, one article from the Durango Herald talks about undocumented pets, and tenants putting holes through the drywall.  Another article from the Hamilton Spectator, shares a sad story about a landlord whom lost her home after months of tenants not paying rent (and disappearing).  We’ve also heard stories of tenants selling illegal drugs, conducting illicit behavior, stealing materials from the property, and more.  These can be troubling situations, so make sure that you protect yourself appropriately (see our article on how to choose great tenants and/or how to handle a problem tenant).  If you really find that you are in over your head, use a property manager to help.

 

 

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