26 Jan Tenant Screening
Tenant screening is a really big deal! In fact, screening tenants properly is one of the most important things you can do. Get a good tenant and you will have fewer problems. But, get a bad tenant and you could be looking at a time consuming eviction process. And, while you may have relied on your gut instinct as a part of your tenant screening process. The reality is, today there are more people out there looking to do more bad than good. In fact, tenant scam artists prey on those who do not perform a proper screening. And, just when you thought your job as a landlord was difficult enough, today you have to worry about false information. So, rather than cross your fingers and hope for the best, make sure your tenant screening process is through. Tenant screening is all about finding the highest quality tenants for your San Diego rental property.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws…
An Overwhelming Process
From rental applications and background checks to credit scores and getting the necessary references. Screening a tenant can become overwhelming quickly if you are unsure of what you are doing. There are a handful of extremely important steps that go into finding the right tenant. And, do not think just because an applicant has a high credit score he or she will be a good tenant. In fact, analyzing a credit report does not even come close to understanding the fine details about your prospective tenant. For example, just because a prospective tenant has paid their bills on time and avoided late fees does not mean they will be a good tenant. In fact, they could end up being that one tenant that either does not respect your property, or the one everyone complains about. On the flip side, do not forget there are some situations that can negatively impact a credit score, even if a tenant is financially responsible. For this reason, we offer some tips and insight into the tenant screening process.
Screening Potential Tenants
Screening potential tenants properly can mean the difference between having a tenant who will pay their rent, or one that will not. The fact is, any prospective tenant can act like the best tenant in the world during the initial walk-through. But if you want to make sure you are getting the best one, screen every prospective tenant thoroughly before they sign a lease!
Tenant Screening Process
- Request rental application
- Run a credit check
- Run a background check
- Contact their previous landlord
- Contact their employer
- Interview the tenant
- AND BEWARE of the Tenant Scams
Even if you require the proper proof you can end up with falsified documents…
Tenant Screening Scam
The rental application is completely filled out, proof of residence and employment are all there. So, you take the security deposit and first month’s rent. While it appears that everything is in order, it could not be further from the truth. A month goes by and you notice the check bounced. And before you know it, you are in an upwards battle with a professional tenant scammer. One you will never win. The truth is, finding a good tenant is difficult! Especially when there are applicants pretending be good people.
As a landlord, you have to screen every potential tenant; there is simply too much at risk if you don’t!
What To Look For On A Rental Application
While it goes without saying that the rental application should be filled out completely. You would be surprised at how many applicants leave out information. If this is the case, it is a red flag! Missing information could signal the tenant is trying to hide something. So, be cautious. That said, make sure you throughly review their employment, current income level, lifestyle information, financial information, and personal references. Look for things like gaps in their rental history, and length of employment. And while this may seem obvious, if their current income level does not cover the rent plus utilities. Do not waste your time!
Avoiding The Eviction Process
As landlord, you have to make sure you screen every prospective tenant. After all, you don’t want to find yourself going through the eviction process as a result of not being through. With that said, use your instincts to help guide you. But back those instincts up with some hard facts from the tenant’s credit report and background information.
When In Doubt
If you have questions about how to screen prospective tenants or need help doing so, please contact us. We manage single-family homes, condos, and apartment buildings throughout the San Diego area. Whether you are interested in changing property managers, or simply looking to hire a property management company for the first time, Rancho Mesa Properties can help. We take care of all types of residential rental properties including homes, condos, multiplexes such as duplex and triplexes, and even small apartment buildings. Let us manage your rental properties, so you can enjoy your life! Call us today at (858) 576-2176. We will save you time, money, and the stress that comes along with managing your own rentals.