Are you tired of dealing with late payment, tenant eviction, and non-payment? If so, it’s a sign you have been allowing the wrong tenants to occupy your property.
As a landlord, your most important role is to fill all the units. If some of the units have been vacant, you might be tempted to accept any tenant who comes your way.
This might appear like a good idea; however, it will end up costing you more money in the long run. But you can avoid such a scenario if you screen tenants.
Tenant screening is the process where landlords and property managers evaluate a tenant. The screening involves checking the credit history eviction history, among other elements.
You might be wondering, must I screen tenants during the rental application process? The answer is yes. Apart from ensuring a steady stream of income, there are other reasons why you must screen tenants during the application process.
Continued reading to know why you should screen tenants during the rental application process
Know Your Applicants Current Financial Status
Receiving a full credit report before allowing a tenant to occupy your property is essential. You can spot warning signs that show a tenant might not pay the full rent with the credit report.
If a tenant has a huge outstanding debt, it’s a sign they might find it challenging to pay the rent on time. If the tenant also has a credit card charged off recently, it’s a red flag.
However, some types of debts should not be a point of concern. In most cases, medical and student loans are debts that most landlords overlook.
But when asking for credit history, younger renters who have just received their first credit might not have any financial history. In such a case, it’s better to request the young renter to come along with a co-signer.
If the young renter defaults, the co-signer might be called upon to pay the rent.
Know the Possibility of the Applicant to Pay Rent on Time
A challenge faced by most landlords is having tenants not paying rent on time. If you have any financial plans, late payments from tenants can affect your investment.
But by doing tenant screening, you can reduce the chances of accepting tenants who cannot make a payment on time. If you check the tenant’s credit report, you can determine the possibility of the tenant making a payment on time.
From the report, you can also determine whether there are tenant-related collections. Tenant collections are only made when an agency has been hired to collect unpaid rent from a tenant.
You can also check whether a judgment has ever been made against the tenant. The presence of a judgment on the tenant’s history it’s a sign the tenant has been sued before.
This could be due to unpaid rent or other damages.
To determine whether the tenant will pay rent on time, ask them to provide previous landlord and employment references. If a tenant always pays rent on time, they will have a positive reference from their previous landlord.
Protect Your Property and the Neighborhood
As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to protect your property and the safety of all the tenants. If you allow a criminal to rent your property, you will be putting the safety of other tenants at risk.
Thus, it is essential to do a criminal background search during the screening process. If a prospective tenant has been charged with major offenses, it can be a point of concern.
But if the prospectus tenant has been charged with minor offenses such as traffic violation, you have nothing to worry about.
To avoid putting the risk of other tenants and neighbors, check the criminal history of potential tenants.
Avoid Future Evictions
As a landlord, going through an eviction process is the last thing you want. Tenant evictions are usually costly and time-consuming.
On average, you can spend up $ 3500 evicting a tenant, a process that could take up to four weeks. But by screening a tenant during the application process, you can avoid such a scenario.
By checking the tenant’s past eviction history, you can assess whether future evictions are possible. For an eviction history to be conclusive, there is information that must be included in the report, which includes:
• Tenant’s judgment involving possession of money
• Unlawful detainers
• Tenant’s judgment involving their rent-paying capability
• Rent payment failure
• Ant eviction warrants
Get Peace of Mind
Having respectful and responsible renters who pay rent on time is essential. However, if you don’t screen your tenant during the application process, you will end up with the wrong tenant.
A tenant who does not pay rent on time will affect your income stream. Not to mention you will have to spend too much money and time in evicting the tenant.
But you can avoid all this stress by carrying out tenant screening. During the screening process, you can have a look at the credit history, eviction history, and criminal history of the tenant.
This way, you will select a tenant who can pay rent on time and does not have a criminal record. However, it’s better to hire tenant screening companies for the best screening outcome.
Such companies know the best tenant screening procedure to apply. Besides, they save you money and the stress of dealing with tenant screening.
You Now Know Why You Should Screen Tenants During the Application Process
Choosing a respectful tenant who pays rent on time can be challenging. But if you screen tenants, you increase the chance of choosing the right tenant.
Read the above guide and discover the reasons why you should screen tenants during the application process.
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