What is the best way to find tenants for your rental property? What practices are considered illegal, and which practices must be used to ensure you are finding people that will not cause risk to others? Screening applicants for rental property doesn’t have to be as challenging as it sounds. In fact, new programs make it easier to scan through applications to ensure all the questions needed are completed by tenants. Here are some things to look for when screening applicants for rental property.
Use a Pre-Screening Process
A pre-screen will allow you to screen out people before they get to the stage of filling out the application. The pre-screen is designed to clear out the people who come with pets, felony backgrounds, or income issues.
A good application needs to have several questions that really help to identify the people that meet certain needs such as:
Do you have a steady source of income?
Do you have a criminal history?
Do you have multiple references or prior landlords to contact?
Do you have a credit history that meets our requirements?
Comply with Fair Housing regulations and pre-screen all the tenants with the same questions to ensure everyone is given an equal chance.
Run a Credit Report
While it is wise to have a standard for the credit report requirements, the entire report helps you to see how the applicant manages their money. Some people may have a lot of financial problems and you can see how they change over the years. If they have been stable for several years financially, the risk will be lower compared to those who have missed several payments in the recent past. Most landlords will ask for at least 620 or higher for credit requirements.
Criminal Background Check Report
A criminal background check provides information about the renter’s background. The background check will show information about issues like a sex offender who is applying for housing. While in some cases, a sex offender is not going to cause some problems, there are other cases where they can cause risk to others. Anyone who is deemed too risky can be denied housing. Hiring a property management company allows you to step back from some of the screening process so you can focus on running the property.
Once you have some applicants in the mix, you need to interview the prospective tenants and the co-applicants. Review the tenant screening documents and discuss your findings with the applicants so they can provide some explanations pertaining to some of the things in the screening process.
Keyrenter Property Management in Solano, CA offers residential property management services to landlords of single family homes, duplexes, condos, and small multifamily units. Contact our office today to discuss your tenant needs.