7 Reasons Why Tenant Screening Is Necessary

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Screening prospects is crucial to your business. While face-to-face meetings help greatly, a look at past behavior can assist greatly in determining if this prospect is a great fit. Here are some reasons why all that background research is worth it:


1. Pets

Pets are often the pride and joy of tenants. A pet’s behavior does not always match up with their owners’ description. Contact their previous landlord to get straight-forward, honest answers.


2. Criminal Past

Rentals associated with criminal activity always hurt your business. Anything ranging from property damage to in-rental meth labs to illegal drugs can drive prospects far, far away from you. Run a background check on the prospect to check for any criminal activity.


3. Late Payments

As you already know, late payments are a pain. Chasing down tenants via phone, email, posting notice, and other alternatives is mentally exhausting on you. Again, contact their previous landlord to receive information of their payment history.


4. Breaking Lease

If your prospect’s last living situation involved a broken lease, make sure you do thorough research into this matter. Many factors, determined by your prospect or others, could have gone into the broken lease. It is not always your prospect’s fault. But if it is, it’s vital to note this.


5. Property Maintenance

This is especially important if you have standards for your residents, i.e. changing filters. A responsible tenant will take away any stress you have concerning property maintenance. Clogged filters or a worn-down water softener can impact your relationship with your residents.


6. Credit History

This is a big one. This all goes back to number three. Again, you want a responsible tenant. Credit reports are available to landlords for only $10. However, even after looking at their credit report, remember to research any circumstances surrounding occurrences like foreclosures.


7. Eviction

The most important factor regarding prospects is their eviction history. Have they ever been evicted? Take the time to research why. Again, contacting their previous landlord is a great way to get the information needed. If the prospect has a substantial eviction history, you could lose money. Court-ordered evictions take months to process. During this time, you cannot move in a new tenant. Keep this in mind.

To sum it up, tenant screening is vital to your success. A bad tenant could cause negative Word-of-Mouth, hurting you and potentially your current tenants.