Tenant Screening Process

Tenant Screening Process

Tenant Screening Process

Red Flags Landlords Should Never Ignore

During the tenant screening process red flags are something you should be aware of. The process of finding good tenants begins when you are interviewing them. And, it is during this initial contact when red flags will begin to surface. Whether they are subtle red flags like nervousness or showing up an hour late, you should not ignore them. Although it can be tempting to ignore some red flags, the outcome of doing so can be devastating. That’s because a bad tenant can end up costing you a lot of money. A good property management company cannot afford to take on risky tenants, and neither can a landlord. For this reason, we offer some insight on red flags to look out for during the tenant screening process.

Please Note: this information is not intended to be a substitute for qualified legal advice.

Red Flag #1: Your Gut Is Trying To Tell You Something

The first impression, or gut feeling is usually the most accurate. Although you may not realize why immediately, whenever you have reservations, you should investigate why. Is the prospective tenant overly enthusiastic? There is a big difference between an enthusiastic applicant and a desperate one. Is the person you are meeting with the same one you spoke with on the phone? Was there a specific behavior like a bad attitude that triggered your intuition? Sketchy or suspicious behavior during the interview process may suggest there is a problem. 

Red Flag #2: Needing To Move Quickly

Depending on the applicant’s situation, a quick move can be a serious red flag. In fact, it can signal a lost job or even an eviction. For this reason, it’s best be overly cautious when an applicant attempts to put pressure on you into making a decision. That’s because applicants who put undue pressure to move forward quickly, usually have something to hide. Whether they are trying to rush you in hopes you neglect to call a previous landlord, or overlook something on their application. Never, rush your tenant screening process! 

Red Flag #3: Incomplete Information

One of the most common but overlooked red flags, is the omission of information on a rental application. While you may be tempted to overlook missing information, you should take that as a signal something is not right. If someone refuse to provide you with mission information, do not move forward with the applicant. Some common reasons applicants leave out crucial information include:

    1. Trying to hide an eviction
    2. They have an unfavorable rental history
    3. There is an inconsistent employment history
    4. Their income is not high enough for the rent rate

Red Flag #4: Tenant With A History

The most obvious red flags are tenants with poor credit, past evictions, or a criminal past. While evictions are can be filed for a variety of reasons, the most common one is for nonpayment of rent. As a landlord, one of your first obligations is to find the best tenant who is able to pay rent on time, every month. In addition to running a credit check on applicants, you should also run a background check that includes a criminal and rental history. Although you need to do you homework to avoid being the subject of a discrimination lawsuit, you need make sure that the tenant in question is a friendly, responsible, and honest person!

Tenant Screening Process Red Flags


When screening potential tenants, you may have trouble determining what factors to consider. Although it can be tempting to ignore some red flags, failing to properly screen applicants can result in significant loss of income due to late or unpaid rent, property damages, or an expensive eviction. Property managers understand the importance of tenant screening to secure the most qualified applicant for your rental property. For this reason, you may want to consider hiring a property management company to help you. 

Whether you are interested in changing management companies, or simply looking to hire one for the first time, we can help. We take care of all types of residential rental properties including homes, condos, multi-family dwellings such as duplex and triplexes, and even small apartment buildings. It’s time to stop stressing and let us manage your rental properties, so you can enjoy life! Get started today by calling us at (858) 576-2176 and start saving time, money, and the stress that comes along with managing your own rentals.