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Landlords: Factor to Consider in Screening Tenants

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By : Fredrica Smith    99 or more times read
While it is true that the rental business can be very lucrative, there are factors that need to be considered in order to guarantee such success. As a landlord, you have the responsibility not only maintaining the property accordingly, but ultimately to secure your income. And that can only be achieved if you primarily do a comprehensive screening of probable tenants.

With this process, you are bailing yourself out of dealing with irresponsible tenants. If you prioritize looking for good tenants, then your business can definitely thrive. To initially guide you with some simple tips, here are some things you need to focus on in screening and accepting tenants:

You might think that your rental ads would only serve the purpose of promoting your property. But this tool can also be a means for your initial and indirect tenant screening test. If your ad specifies your target clientele, location, amenities available and payment terms, you are subliminally calling for a specific group of tenants. In a way, you are downsizing the probable tenants who would be attracted to your property. Thus, you somehow eliminated encountering unqualified tenants.

In addition, if you renting out a property attached with special conditions, such as Section 8 Program or other government assistance programs, you must include such information in your ads. This is let hopeful tenants that your rental property caters to a particular group of people.

Your qualification checklist must be prepared beforehand prior to meeting and consequently interviewing applying tenants. You should ask for these pertinent documents Ė identification papers containing basic information about the personís complete name, contact details, current address, SSN; credit report; certification of employment; income stubs and others. Should you need further validation of the information the tenant gave you, use online services that provide extensive checking of a tenantís background. Most service providers guarantee that reports can turn up within an hour or before the day ends.

Know that there are also tell-tale signs that you must observe during interviewing an applicant. You can gauge his reliability, open-mindedness, hygiene and other qualities to be early warnings how he would treat your property, relate to you as a tenant or comply with your terms and conditions. You must be wary of applying tenants who seem to be shady about some information. Be careful in dealing with those who say they need to move in today or in two days or those who do not want you to contact their employer and/or previous landlord. Then again, do not reject the application right then and there. Conduct your research in finding out the truth. If the loopholes remain unanswered, politely decline the request to become your tenant.

Lastly, the underlying principle of your tenant screening endeavor must be to provide everyone with equal opportunities to acquire decent housing. Remember that there are anti-discrimination laws you must strictly abide by. You are in no way allowed to deliberately or covertly turn down possible tenants basing on their race, religion, gender, disability and others. Applicants who felt they were discriminated are given the right to file legal charges against discriminating landlords. Save yourself from being in such quandary by opening yourself to as many hopeful tenants as possible. Then again, set certain limitations in order to protect you and your rental business.
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