The Importance of Landlord Tenant Screening: A Closer Look
If you’re a property owner, you need great tenants to maximize your investment.
Finding tenants isn’t as easy as it might sound. Every property owner has horror stories about a tenant paying rent late every month or causing expensive damage to their property. Unfortunately, it’s hard to know what you’re going to get until they’re living (or working) on the property.
The importance of screening your tenants can’t be understated. In this post, we’re going to talk more about why you need to do it, how to do it, and some of the benefits you’ll see when you screen tenants carefully.
Just because you’ve had bad tenants in the past doesn’t mean you can’t have great ones in the future. Keep reading and you’ll see what you can do and what services are available to help you screen out bad tenants and find amazing ones.
Why Tenant Screening Is Important
There are numerous why you should be screening your tenants as carefully as possible. Performing background and reference checks can give you special insight into the track record of the potential tenant. If there are any red flags that should concern you, tenant screening will find them.
Here are a few reasons why tenant screening is important:
It Protects Your Property and Keeps the Community Safe
It’s important to perform background checks on all of your prospective tenants so you can protect your property, as well as your existing tenants.
When it comes to the actual property, a background check will give you a history of any criminal violence or property damage that the applicant has participated in. Screening out these disreputable candidates significantly lowers your liability and keeps your physical property safe.
If your property has multiple units or you own other units around the community, tenant screening keeps your other tenants safe and happy as well. Any history of violence or disturbing the peace will turn up in a background check and help to raise concern.
No tenants should have to deal with threats to their safety. If an applicant’s offenses were committed long ago – and they’ve been in good standing since – then it might be okay to take a chance on them. When you get a bad feeling about an applicant, however, there’s no sense in risking your or your other tenants’ well-being.
Reduces Tenant Turnover
The way you screen your tenants will also determine how much tenant turnover you have. If you fail to screen them properly, then you’re going to be dealing with eviction cases more frequently, not to mention the fact that your property will start getting a reputation in the community.
Bad tenants also have a knack for driving good tenants away. You always have to think about your current tenants and how much you value them in your property. If you invite a malignant presence into another unit, you’re essentially telling other tenants that you don’t mind if they leave.
All of this will combine to increase the number and duration of vacancies in your rental units.
Gives You Vital Financial Information
Tenant screening software lets you know if an applicant can actually afford to live in your property. If they’ve got poor credit or a history of late rent payments, a credit check will unearth it.
A huge amount of credit card debt is a good indication that they might not be financially stable enough to pay rent on time every month. It doesn’t tell the entire story though. When looking at an applicant’s financial background, you’ll want to consider landlord references and employment history as well.
You never want to discount a good tenant because they’re on hard times, especially if they have a good reputation with past landlords and a stable job presently.
Gives You Vital Legal Information
Past legal information is also important. As we said above, people can fall on hard times financially. If they’ve been sued in the past for unpaid bills, this is a good indication that there’s a track record of financial instability.
As a landlord, you don’t want to constantly be chasing your tenants down for rent. Screening out tenants that have a sketchy legal history will give you a better chance of finding stable tenants.
The Landlord Tenant Screening Process, Explained
So, how does tenant screening actually work?
You can perform tenant screening on your own, but it can be a lot of work. You’ll have to do credit checks, background checks, and contact former landlords. It’s a time-consuming job, which is why so many landlords fail to do it properly and end up with bad tenants.
Nowadays, the best option for landlords is to use one of the top tenant screening companies, like Rent Safe. With this software, you can customize each vacant rental unit that you’ve got to have specific requirements. This allows you to screen out unqualified candidates right away.
The software can then create an “application” portal that allows tenants to apply in minutes. Once their information is in the system, the program will perform all of the necessary screening checks to determine whether or not a candidate is suitable.
You’ll get full credit reports, income information, eviction checks, criminal checks, and even pet documentation. These services make it easy for you to find an ideal candidate for your vacant rental unit.
When you’ve properly screened your tenants, you’ll never have to worry about the vulnerable state of your property, other tenants being, or not getting rent on time. It makes being a property owner and landlord so much easier.
Tenant Screening Pays Off
There’s no denying that the landlord tenant screening process pays huge dividends, but it can be difficult if you’re a busy professional. Using tenant screening software can take a lot off of your plate, but you still have to know what kind of tenant you want in your rentals.
Every landlord goes through a few bumps and bruises along the way. The ones that screen tenants thoroughly always end up in a less stressful situation. Now that you know how to screen tenants, you can avoid the stress of dealing with bad ones from now on.
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