Tenant screening process
No landlord ever wants to land a bad tenant, this is why it is so important to perform a screening for any potential tenant for your home. Generally, the screening process varies from company to company but in most cases, all of them are concentrating on the following aspects:
Income Must Be Three Times the Monthly Rent
Tenants rarely know how much they can afford. By giving an exact minimum income requirement, property managers can keep out those who might believe they can afford to pay the rent but really can’t.
Tenant Must Have Good References
The references property managers receive from past landlords are the best indication of the way the tenant will behave. A bad review from a past landlord is a huge red flag. Same about personal friends or family reviews.
A tenant who recently faced an eviction is unlikely to get approved for a next rental.
It is important to check the criminal background of a tenant because nobody wants problems on their property.
This list of requirements is usually communicated by phone to each new tenant applying for a property. Also, they should be published openly on their website. At the same time, there are some aspects that cannot be taken into consideration when making a decision about a tenant. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, they are race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, handicap. This is vitally important that property managers don’t discriminate against those classes.
Even with all of the key requirements met there are no guarantees that the tenant will be a perfect match. Let’s look at the following traits that any good tenant has to acquire:
1. The Ability to Afford the Rent Payment
The first and foremost quality of a good tenant is their willingness to pay the rent. Without proper payment, the property manager will be forced to evict the tenants, which will ruin their rental history.
2. The Willingness to Pay on Time
While some landlords look at late rent as simply a benefit (and the late fee as a financial bonus to them) a late-paying tenant is more likely to stop paying altogether. The stress involved when the rent doesn’t come in is not a pleasant experience and can be avoided by only renting to tenants who have a solid history of paying on time.
3. The Long-Term Outlook for Their Job Stability
While a tenant may be able to pay the rent and pay it on time right now – their ability to do so in the future is often determined by their job situation. It is not a good sign if they switch jobs often or have long periods of unemployment.
4. Their Cleanliness and Housekeeping Skills
No tenant stays forever – and when they leave the property has to be in good condition. It is important that the tenants day-to-day living be clean and orderly.
One of the most important questions is how much stress will the tenant cause? Some tenants are very high maintenance and constantly demand time and attention. Some are the opposite, they contact property managers only in case of maintenance issues or to re-sign the lease.
Tenant screening is one of the basic steps property managers take when renting the property and making this experience as headache-free as possible. And all companies should have solid procedures for screening, approving, and rejecting rental applicants.