We routinely hear landlords complain about tenants who don’t pay the rent, tenants who don’t follow the rules and tenants who leave a lot of property damage behind when they move out. Landlords often wonder what’s going on and why their tenants turn out to be bad for their properties. In such cases, the landlord usually does not have a good system for approving tenants. So today we’ll discuss how to select better tenants.
Many landlords will unknowingly move in tenants who have been evicted, have criminal backgrounds or are listed on the registry of sexual predators. It’s very important to conduct a comprehensive screening of your tenants. Your screening process must include a criminal background check as well as a review of the sexual offender registry.
You also want to make sure your application includes a disclaimer that tenants will be rejected or the tenancy terminated if any information on the application is falsified. This gives you a valid way to remove the tenants if you find out they lied on the application.
Obtain a copy of the consumer credit report and conduct a statewide background check. Look for any rental collection activity because it’s important to know if the tenants owe anyone money before you approve their application. Talk to former landlords and of course do an employment and income verification so you can be sure they have jobs that pay enough money to meet the requirements of a monthly rental payment.
The quickest and easiest way to weed out undesirable and dishonest tenants is to have a statement of qualifying criteria available for your prospective applicants. When people have the opportunity to review that statement at the beginning of the process, you will discourage bad tenants from even applying.
Finally, whatever screening and approval process you use, make sure you use the same one for every single applicant. You have to apply your methods consistently and equally in order to avoid any charges of discrimination.
If you need any help getting tenants approved or you’d like to discuss the process further, please contact us at Cape Shore Property Management.