Skip to main content
Facebook Twitter Instagram

Property Management Blog

How to Screen Tenants: The Basics Explained

How to Screen Tenants: The Basics Explained

Overall, 95% of landlords and 87% of renters think they can get along and coexist peacefully. But all it takes is one bad tenant to ruin your experience as a landlord.

While nightmare scenarios aren't completely avoidable, there are steps you can take to decrease the chances of them occurring. Most importantly, you should have a solid tenant screening process in place to weed out the bad from the good.

Don't know where to start? Then keep reading to see how to screen tenants.

Be Clear About Requirements

Don't go into things without a plan. When you want to find a tenant, have a clear picture of the minimum acceptable requirements so you have standards. Make sure you're not violating the Fair Housing Act though, which prevents you from discriminating against certain renters.

Things you can ask for include minimum credit scores, proof of employment, and clean background checks.

Have Potential Renters Fill Out Applications

It's easier to take phone calls and emails from potential renters, show them the property, and then have them sign a contract. However, it'll be more difficult to gain key information about these people, especially since you don't have anything down on paper.

Applications will make things much easier. You can find out if they're employed, how long they've been at their jobs (current and past), what references they have, and their income and debt. These things will indicate whether or not they'll be responsible tenants.

Always Run Checks

Someone might seem fantastic on paper and even in person, but there's a lot they can easily hide and lie about. Don't skip the crucial step of running credit and background checks.

Obviously, those with a higher credit score will be more likely to pay their rent on time consistently. Those with a clean tenant background check are less likely to party and trash your property.

It's a great idea to contact their current and previous employers and landlords. They'll have an accurate picture of how responsible the person is.

Conduct Interviews

Interviews can give you plenty of vital information when screening tenants. Not only can you verify the data they've given on their applications, but you can also discuss any discrepancies you've come across.

These interviews allow potential renters to ask you questions too. That way, you can both see if you're a good fit for one another.

Know How to Screen Tenants Expertly

When you know how to screen tenants, the chances of getting deadbeat renters who ruin your rental properties are significantly lowered.

While it may take more time and effort to create a tenant screening method, it'll definitely pay off. Not only is it repeatable, but you'll effortlessly root out troublesome renters too.

If you'd like someone else to do tenant screening for you, then contact us today. We offer comprehensive property management services to make being a landlord easier.