Having good tenants is an essential part of a successful real estate investment. As a result, landlords must select the right tenant for a rental property in order to avoid potential problems. The screening process helps to ensure that the unit is properly taken care of, and the rent is paid on time. This will minimize repair costs and frequent turnovers while maximizing profits.
Although landlords could perform a cursory check, it is generally better to obtain and analyze information from a variety of sources during the tenant screening process. A comprehensive check will provide a complete picture of a potential tenant, which will minimize the risk of problems in the future.
Interview the prospective tenant. Ask that everyone who will live in the unit come to the property or the management office. This will enable you to witness their interpersonal dynamics. Listen to what they say about their current residence and employer for signs of problems. Pay attention to their personal appearance and the cleanliness of their vehicles as an indication of how well they will maintain the property.
Have the prospective tenant fill out a rental application. The form should include spaces for personal information, current and previous employment history, past landlord contact information and references. Verify the information on the application. Contact current and previous employers and landlords. Use the applicant’s personal information to run credit and criminal background checks. Ask for a recent pay stub.
Contacting current and previous employers along with the credit check and pay stub will help form a picture of the potential tenant’s financial situation and, as a result, their ability to pay the rent on time. Review the credit report for signs of financial trouble, such as a history of late payments and maxed-out credit cards. Ask employers to verify dates of employment and income to determine if the applicant provided accurate information.
Reviewing previous rental history will help determine if the tenant plans to stay long term or if they are likely to be transient. It costs time and money to prepare a rental unit between tenants. Information from previous landlords will help determine if the individual has been evicted before and the circumstance involved. The eviction process can be expensive and time consuming. Confirm the reason for moving listed on the application.
Speak with personal references to evaluate the applicant’s trustworthiness and sense of personal responsibility. This will also provide insight into the people who will visit the property.
The criminal background check is another essential piece of the review process. Asking for authorization to conduct a background check can deter prospective tenants from attempting to rent the property if they have criminal histories. Illegal activity is grounds for rejecting an application. As a landlord, you can be held responsible for certain activity on your property. Be prepared to pay for a background check if the information is not available from free online sources.
Review all the information once it has been collected. Determine if the prospective tenant is credit worthy and responsible. Have a witness and be prepared to give a reasonable explanation if you decide to inform someone that the application is being rejected. Tenants who have been accepted should be required to sign a lease agreement.
Tulsa Property Managers is a Tulsa property management company offering professional property and real estate management, consulting and sales services throughout the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.