Our topic today is screening tenants. This is an important part of property management, and there are ways you can pre-qualify a potential applicant before you show that person your rental home. Get some information from them when they call or email to inquire about the property.
Ask about their intended move in date. If their planned move is more than two to three weeks from your vacancy date, you might want to reconsider showing them the home. Or, you can also ask them if they are willing to accommodate your vacancy time frame.
Talk to the potential tenant about pets. If they do have a pet and you are accepting pets, ask what type of breed they have. Bully breed pets should always be avoided because of the bite risk and the liability it will create for you. If your tenant wants to move in an acceptable pet, ask the tenant to get a pet bite policy attached to their renters insurance. You should also ask to see vet records on the pet, and make sure they’re current.
You can find out how many people would be living in your property by asking your potential tenant if the house would be just for him or her. If there are four people trying to move into a one bedroom condo, that will not work.
After a tenant views the property and you receive an application, verify all the information on it. You should do this before you even run the credit check and the national criminal background check. Make sure an applicant’s family income is going to be at least three times the amount of rent. That’s a rule of thumb in this industry and it’s used to establish whether they can afford the property. Take a look at credit and the national criminal searches. On the criminal check, you might think you have found a match, but always verify the information with the company that ran the search. This is simply because some names are very similar and the name that popped up might not be the person applying to rent your home.
These are just a few tips for screening tenants. If you have any other questions or you’d like additional information, please contact us at Debbie Gloss Properties, and we’d be happy to help you.