The Ultimate Landlord’s Guide to Tenant Screening

Story Highlights
  • 1. Develop a Qualification Criteria
  • 2. Confirm the Income Sources
  • 3. Social Media Profiles
  • 4. Reach Out to Two Previous Landlords
  • 5. Don’t Offer Anything Without Completed Rental Applications
  • 6. Go For a Property Manager

Before we begin what you really want to know, you can really ask any of the veteran landlords and they will openly admit that quality tenants can be your only great source of high profits.

You may go for property maintenance services thinking that improving the state of home would get you better tenants but that’s not all.

In fact, finding the right tenant is based on a whole process of tenant screening which we are going to talk about below.

By now, there are high chances that either it is your first time as a landlord looking to rent out your property or you have faced enough consequences by trusting your judgment and getting nothing but betrayals in the end.

However, there is nothing to worry about as long as you have understood the tips we are going to tell you to tackle the red flags.

Of course, you will also find tenant screening software but your job is to not be fooled by them. By that we mean, you first need to improve your judgment regarding the potential tenants, catch the warning signs and then trust any systems to make the process of managing tenants’ applications efficiently.

The guide below for you is based on more advanced tips that go beyond just the tenant’s background checks. So, let’s deep dive into the details that you need to be aware of for your next attempt of finding a tenant:

1. Develop a Qualification Criteria

If you want to step into the process of right tenant screening, you will have to decline more applications with the passage of time.

However, before the applicant accuses you of doing discrimination, you should have qualification criteria in your hand that should ideally be race-neutral, gender-neutral, disability-neutral and familial-status-neutral as well.

With this, you would always be able to show the tenants how they didn’t meet what you are looking for.

2. Confirm the Income Sources

Gone are those days when making a payslip was more difficult. Today, anyone can create pay slips right of their choice with a computer and on sites like Stub Samples.

So, if you want to stay away from being deceived, your best bet, in that case, could be asking for a certified three-month bank statement that would ensure you about the tenant’s income status and sources.

3. Social Media Profiles

As a wise man once said, social media is like that tool which can help you in every walk of life, but only if you know how to do it.

You need some time to look out for the tenants’ details and the way they live their lives by going through their Facebook or Instagram profiles.

On their profiles, you need to check whether their employment and residency details really match with the ones that they have provided you.

Besides that, you can also confirm whether they are perhaps associated with any undesirable groups or prone to (violent) asocial behavior, by going through their online activities.

4. Reach Out to Two Previous Landlords

This is where the most important judgment by you would come into place.

It is pretty much obvious that the previous landlord would always speak highly of the tenants as they might want to get rid of them for any reason.

However, you should go a bit backward and at least call two or more previous landlords to get an unbiased opinion and decide for yourself.

5. Don’t Offer Anything Without Completed Rental Applications

If the tenant is coming up with reasons to not fill the required blanks on the application, then you need to be alert to figure out whether he or she is trying to hide something.

If you will give your property on incomplete rental applications, you’re just asking for more trouble.

You need to be more vigilant in the agreement as well.

6. Go For a Property Manager

If you really think that you cannot manage the applications or important details mentioned above well, then hand over the responsibility of tenant screening to a property manager who would be experienced and well qualified to deliver all that you wish.

They can help you avoid common mistakes, even assure you of finding a tenant that would give you the profits which you have been looking for years and provide quality leasing services overall too.


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