Tenant screening and tenant selection are probably the most important tasks we perform for the owners and investors we work with, and it’s an area that self-managing landlords are prone to making big mistakes. Today, we’re talking about how we handle the process to ensure a well-qualified tenant is placed in your property.
Establishing Rental CriteriaWe have a tenant selection criteria, which we share with prospective tenants before they apply. We have certain criteria that everyone must meet, such as a credit score of at least 600, and an income that’s at least three times the monthly rent. We pre-screen right up front with that information. If they don’t meet that tenant criteria, they probably won’t bother to apply. When they do decide to apply, we collect an application that allows us to verify what they tell us.
Tenant Background CheckThe next step in selecting a tenant is to perform a background check. We want to verify income, credit history, rental history, and check for a criminal background. We call other property managers and talk to employers to find out what kind of character, income, and rental history a prospective tenant has. Based on all this information, we come up with a grade for every applicant. We give the tenant a grade according to our criteria. Maybe one tenant will have a lower credit score but does have a steady income and a great rental history. We weigh all the aspects and determine if a tenant will fit in our property.
Tenant screening is about more than just a credit check and a criminal background check. You have to establish some consistent criteria that you know good tenants will meet, and you have to spend some time verifying and documenting the information on the application.
If you have any questions about selecting a tenant or anything pertaining to property management in Cape Coral, please contact us at Cape Shore Property Management.