Four Important Things to Consider When Screening Tenants

Evicting a tenant is any landlord’s biggest nightmare. It’s a time consuming, expensive and stressful process. If you are a landlord, the best way to avoid this nightmare is to ensure that you don’t let a bad tenant enter your life. Actually, it’s a problem where prevention is better than cure.

At Accurental, we provide an array of services including background and credit checks which help landlords screen rental applications. We have seen that the landlords who do their due diligence are less likely to have problem tenants. While working with landlords over the years, we have also come to realize that how you screen your tenants can make or break your experience as a landlord.

Here are some steps you can take to boost the screening process, so that your property gets rented to only properly qualified tenants:

Ask questions when contacted by prospective renters via email or phone

Many rental applicants make their first contact with landlords via email or phone. While answering their basic questions, you should ask your own. Some of the questions you should ask are:

–          From where are they moving?

–          Why are they moving?

–          What is the nature of their work?

–          What is their experience with the previous landlord?

–          What are their expectations from a rental?

–          Are they likely to have pets?

These questions will help in two ways. One: you would get to know if the applicant qualifies for your rental in the first place. Two: you would get to know if an applicant is serious about renting your place. A serious applicant will answer your queries respectfully and in detail.

First impressions matter a lot

When showing your rental to prospective tenants, you should pay attention to their personality and character. Those who are well-behaved and dressed properly are likely to care about your property’s upkeep.  You should also note how respectfully a particular applicant is expressing his or her legitimate concerns about the property.

Verify details of rental applications

It’s an area where we at Accurental can help you to a great extent. While screening applications, you should verify details provided by the applicants. Carrying out background and credit checks on an applicant can help you determine if he or she would be able to pay rents on time and not cause problems as a tenant. In extreme cases, we have seen that background checks come up with criminal records. You should also verify the employment history and the references who are vouching for the applicant’s character.

Make sure tenant understand their rights and obligations clearly

You should also ensure that the tenants understand all the terms and conditions specified in the lease. It’s an obligation that every landlord should follow, but it also plays a great role in screening tenants. If you have any conditions regarding pets, visitation, parking space etc., you should clearly mention them in the lease. The applicants who have a problem with these conditions obviously won’t rent the property. Those who sign the lease would understand their responsibilities clearly. It will avoid disputes in the future.


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