Tips For Screening Rental Tenants

Finding the right rental tenants can be a big chore, but the extra effort can be critical when you're trying to keep your future complaints and property damage low. Here are some tips for picking tenants who will take care of your property. 

Use Rental Applications

The first thing to keep in mind is that a strong rental application can help you to weed out tenants that would make your life miserable. If they aren't willing to give you personal information such as their yearly salary or the names of their employers or past landlords, then you might save yourself time in dealing with a tenant who lied to you upfront about their situation. 

Do an Identity Check

Along with a rental application, always make sure to look at their government-issued ID, such as a passport or a photo ID. This will help to ensure that the person listed on the application is who you are actually dealing with. It's pretty useless to run a credit check on a name that doesn't match the person's true identity. 

Do a Background Check

Simple background checks don't have to cost too much money. A basic background check will turn up past arrests, evictions, and other issues that you should discuss with the tenant. 

Check their Credit

A tenant's credit is often a good indicator of whether they'll make rent payments on time because it will show you how reliable they are about meeting their financial obligations. Previous evictions will also show up on their credit check, so you can quickly weed out some tenants with red flags in their past. Of course, bad credit isn't always a deal breaker. If you can get a family member to co-sign the lease, this will give you a bit more protection against a tenant with an imperfect credit score. 

Call Previous Landlords

Finally, ask for the names of previous landlords. If you are willing to call those people, you can learn a lot about what this person is like to deal with as a tenant. Even if you don't call, the tenant's willingness to provide numbers speaks to their reliability. 

All of these steps can take up considerable effort. If you're simply looking to find the right tenants without spending a lot of your personal time, it's a smart idea to hire a property management service to do the work for you. Property management companies like Shook & Tarlton Rentals can take on many tasks for you, from finding tenants to following up on maintenance requests.