A Definitive Guide to Tenant Screening

What is the process of tenant screening

Profitability and tenant screening go hand-in-hand in the rental property and property management industry in San Diego. Tenants may seem like good people, until they start dragging your business down by accruing hefty bills, damaging valuable furnishings and failing to pay rent for months on end.

How do you ensure that your tenant won’t be your worst nightmare?

Tenant screening is the all-encompassing answer!

What is the process of tenant screening?

The first step is the collection of the application form. It gives a general idea of who your prospective tenant is by highlighting information such as their rental and employment history.

Be wary of possible red flags such as wide gaps in employment history. You also need to cross-check their financial information to understand whether they will be able to afford the rent.

What are some useful tips for the screening process?

1.      A credit check

Credit checks tell you how often a person pays for their compulsions on time. The scores begin at 300 to signify a poor record, all the way to 850 for someone above average. The ideal score is anywhere between 600 and 850.

2.      Criminal records

A common criminal report is the nationwide criminal history. It can prove to be very essential if the tenant’s name and date of birth are correct.

Compare the tenant’s address history with criminal records to confirm whether they were residing in that particular area during the crime.

Some states impose limits to the extent to which information about tenants is made available for the purposes of screening them.

3.      Eviction history

Because evictions are costly affairs, it is imperative that you discover whether your prospective tenant has faced one in the past. If one is given an eviction notice, to which they comply, the report won’t show this incident.

You want to candidly ask the tenant whether they have been evicted before and the circumstances that led to the incident. If they were to refuse to comply to evict when you issue them with an eviction notice, you might have to take legal action, a process that is exceedingly costly.

4.      Establish contact with their references

References offer intuitive checks for potential tenants because you can inquire about things that are excluded in reports.

A tenant’s former landlord will provide insight into how the renter terminated their policy, the extent of damage on the property and complaints about them by neighbors.

Colleagues of your tenants might confirm the employment status of your prospective tenants, but won’t be very helpful in determining their true nature.

By confirming with references, you are able to understand whether what your applicant states is indeed true.

5.      Interviews

There are limits to the questions that you can ask. You are required to avoid discriminating them by their impairments, race, color, religion or gender.

You can inquire whether they smoke, have pets, a tight schedule or possibility of taking on a roommate in the future.

Why use property management applications?

Some apps feature the ability to conduct background and credit checks on tenants. You might incur some cost to get access to the reports, but nothing more than you would pay for other methods. Applications are more efficient because they save time by collecting rental data in a central place.

Your go-to resource in the property management industry in San Diego

At Lofty Property Management, we have the means, tools, experience and expertise to take over your tenant screening process.

We will help you build a strong reputation for your property to ensure you attract quality applicants, as well as conduct detailed background checks to make sure the applicants you accept are responsible individuals you can trust. There is a reason we have a zero-evictions track record. To find out more, reach out to us today!