When it comes to filling your rental properties with new tenants, it is tempting to want to just fill your empty spaces as quickly as possible and avoid screening perspective tenants so that you don’t have any vacancies. However, as a landlord, screening tenants is actually incredibly important that you do not rush the process of finding new tenants. In the long run, it is better to take the time needed to screen potential tenants so that you know that you know that you are filling your rental homes or apartments with people who are going to be responsible and will honor you, your property, and their fellow tenants or neighbors. If you bypass this process, you could end up with unpaid rent that you will have to cover, damages to your properties, or illegal activities taking place on your properties. Screening your potential tenants is vital to your success as a landlord. So what are some good things to check for when it comes to screening potential tenants? As property managers in Redding who have over twenty years of experience managing properties all over Shasta County, we would love to help you by letting you in on what we recommend you check for as you screen potential tenants.
1. CREDIT SCORE – checking a person’s credit score is important because it will give you a glimpse into that person’s on-time or late payment history. It is good to know that person’s track record in this area because if you choose that individual as a tenant, they will be making rent payments to you, and it is important that those rent payments are made on time.
2. EMPLOYMENT – checking to see if a person has steady employment will ensure that you will rent payments will be made consistently and on time. If a person who is interested in moving into one of your rental properties does not currently have employment, there are no guarantees that they will have a job when they move in and that they will be able to make their rent payments.
3. INCOME – besides checking to see if a person has steady employment, it is also important to check how much their income is from their employment because, even if they do have a job, their income still might not match the income needed to rent your property. It is important to make sure that the person not only had a job but also has enough of an income to make their rent payments and also to pay for their other bills and expenses.
4. BACKGROUND CHECK – running a background check on potential tenants is something that you do not want to bypass. It is very important that you know that you are not filling your rental homes or apartments with individuals who have a history of felonies or domestic disturbances. It is important that you fill your rental spots with people who have a clean track record. Renting out to a person who causes domestic disturbances will not only be a problem for you, but will be a problem for your other tenants. Some great background check websites are TransUnion SmartMove, Experian Connect, and RentPrep.
5. PRIOR EVICTIONS – if a person has previously been evicted from a rental property, it should show up on the credit report that you run on them as well as the background check that you run on them. If a person was previously evicted, is important to know why that person was evicted. Get contact information for previous landlords and call around to see what previous landlords’ experiences were with that person.
6. VALID CREDENTIALS – lastly, if you do decide to move forward with a person and they become one of your tenants, always make sure and get that person’s credentials so that you have them on file if a worst case scenario were to happen and that person were to damage your property or take off. Getting their credentials is ultimately a way of holding them accountable for their actions.
Checking all of these things will help you as a landlord to decide whether or not a person is going to be a responsible tenant that will honor you, your property, and fellow tenants. In your searching process, this will ultimately help you to weed out people you do not think will be good tenants and to move forward with people you think will be good tenants. If you are reading this and are realizing you do not want to take on the task of screening and finding tenants, something that you can do is hire a property manager to do it for you. Here at Authority Property Management, we have done property management in Redding and Shasta County for over twenty years. We would love to take this task out of your hands and help ensure that you get the best tenants for your rental properties! Give us a call at (530) 410-6085.
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