It’s important for every landlord and property owner to protect their investments by conducting a tenant screening process which entails proper credit and. The importance of this is to avoid tenants who have a history of defaulting rent payments, those that have faced evictions in the past as well as those with criminal records. Besides, it’s the legal right of the landlords to review the tenant’s credit report and conduct a background check before renting out their properties to them. Below are a few tips that are essential for thorough and efficient screening process.
Use rental application forms
Let every applicant fill out a rental application form as the first step in the tenant verification process. The form will give you the crucial details that will be helpful in conducting credit and background checks. It should include information such as-:
- Addresses of past landlords
- Details of the employer
- Social security number
- Their current contact details
- Bank details for credit checks etc
Credit report authorization
Ensure that the prospective tenant gives you authorization to check out their credit report. This should be included as a separate form attached to rental application form. As the landlord, you have every right to deny the applications of those tenants who do not want to give you to access their credit reports.
Use a tenant screening company for background checks
There are a number of tenant screening companies that you can hire at a fee to do a thorough background check on your prospective tenants. Such background checks should include information such as offences committed at the state or the national levels, past convictions, prior addresses lived, past sex offences etc.
Check credit report
Use at least three credit card reporting bureaus to check the credit worthiness of the applicants. Other than providing you with the credit scores, you will get useful information which will enable you decide whether to grant or deny the application. They include information on bankruptcies, eviction orders, detainer lawsuits, foreclosures etc. Such cannot be ignored during any tenant screening process.
You can contact the current and previous landlords of the applicant and ask them any other pertinent issue concerning the applicant. These could be questions regarding the applicant’s promptness in paying rent, relationship with the neighbors, if they damaged property and generally if landlords would be willing to rent them property again. You can also contact the current employer to verify the income claims and ask for an insight on the applicant’s character and behaviors.
Following these tips will ensure a thorough tenant screening process and will increase the chances of getting only the good tenants and avoiding the bad ones.