Screening Residential Tenants

contact to screen your applicantsAn  important step in finding the right tenant for your single-family home is screening.  Most new landlords dread this crucial step.  The good news is that with the advancement of internet technology the process is easier than ever.  Let’s take a look at why you need to check each prospective tenant.

Your prospective tenant’s credit history could be a crucial piece of information you need to make an informed decision about his/her potential.  Pulling a credit check will allow you to see their credit score, any outstanding bills, and past bankruptcies.  That being said, always keep in mind that this should not be the only factor you take into consideration.  Based on the current economy many of your prospects will have poor credit records.  Take their credit into account but also take more information in before making a final decision.

References are an important piece of intelligence that are a strong indicator of your prospect’s background.  Make sure you are asking for references such as their employer, landlord or banking institution.  Do not take personal references.  Do you really think Bob’s mom is going to say anything bad about him?  Ask the references about the potential tenant’s employment history, personal character, and any knowledge of past legal trouble.  You’ll be amazed at what people will tell you.

Criminal background checks are also vital in ensuring your property will be well cared for.  You can probably ignore past parking tickets, but being listed as a convicted sex offender may make you think twice.

Always keep in mind that people make mistakes and they may not be the same person they were five years ago.  Take the whole picture into account before making your final decision.

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