August 27, 2019
Make Tenant Screening the Easy Part of Property Management
When a tenant signs a lease with you, you want to ensure it’s the best fit for your rental property. This means screening. Unfortunately, many landlords cut corners, and when you do you increase your chances of a problem tenant. So, how do you dramatically increase the odds of a high-quality renter? Follow these steps…
1. Start with the Right Ad
You can weed out folks who might not be the best fit for your unit by describing the property accurately, and including a line that says your application process is rigorous and you run credit checks for all applicants.
2. Pre-Interview Them
Before they even see an application, you should be pre-screening your prospective tenant. If you have a no-smoking clause in your lease, ask them if they smoke. A no-pet policy? Ask them if they have any pets. Repeat that you run credit and background checks on all applicants, and will need proof of employment and to see valid ID. Let them know you will also need prior residence and landlord information.
3. Talk to Them in Person
When they come to see the unit, interview them again. Be sure to be aware of the laws and what you can and cannot ask them. Get a sense of who they are as a person to see if they will be a good fit for your property. It’s the foundation of a good relationship together.
4. Capture ALL Data
Use a digital application form that captures all data. It guarantees that all needed information is captured in one spot. This way you can easily get the names of everyone who will be living on the premises, and any guarantor data as well. Secondly, you can save time and money by automating the application process. Eliminating manual tasks, like phone calls and faxes helps avoid delays and bottlenecks. It also ensures that a high-quality prospect are accepted faster.
5. Run ALL the Checks
Never, ever skip the credit, background, employment and previous landlord checks. Even when a prospective tenant makes a very good first impression, these types of background checks are crucial to confirm that the prospect is financially stable and a good candidate. Ask for a pay stub to verify the employer and income, and get in touch with HR to make sure the person is still an employee. To get a complete picture, contact the current landlord for information on their payment history, reliability and character.
6. Make the Decision
You should now be able to determine that the applicant:
- Can afford the unit
- Has a stable work history
- Has a good credit record
- Has a good past landlord/residency history
- Does not have a history of felonies or misdemeanors
Now that you have all the information in front of you, you are in a good place to determine whether or not to accept or reject the applicant.
How Property Vista Helps
At Property Vista, we offer a range of software solutions designed to help streamline and automate all of your processes. All our solutions are easy to use, mobile-friendly and scalable. Learn more about our suite of property management software!