Tenant Screening Appropriately Avoids Long Term Problems

Tenant Screening is a vital piece of finding a tenant that is going to take care of a property and avoiding issues with tenants like late payments, high turnover rates, and destruction of property. As a landlord, it is important to protect a property investment and be able to distinguish between good and bad tenants.

When it comes to screening for tenants, all landlords must comply with Federal Fair Housing rules. These rules state that it is illegal for a landlord to discriminate against a potential tenant based on race, gender, national origin, religion, marital status, or disability. While these are the federal level statutes, there may also be local statutes with which landlords are required to comply.

Credit Checks

To put the right tenant in a property, knowing the person is a low credit risk is vital. Landlords need to be assured that a tenant is going to pay their rent on time and be responsible when it comes to an apartment or other property.

For a landlord to accurately check credit, verifying income from the tenant by having a tenant provide pay stubs is critical. A landlord should look for tenants that have an income that is three times the rate of the rent, as a general rule of thumb. Another thing that a landlord can do is run a credit check on the tenant. This will provide information regarding the income to debt ratio of the tenant, as well as verify a history of on-time payments.

Criminal Checks

All criminal information is considered public record and is accessible to landlords looking to have a better understanding of a potential tenant. A thorough criminal background check is going to provide information relating to both major and minor offsets.

When it comes to performing the criminal background check, there are several different places to look. This can be incredibly time consuming as there is no national database that provides all of the information in one, easy place. Another thing to keep in mind is that state and city laws on housing may prohibit landlords to deny a tenant based on certain crimes. For this reason, it is incredibly important for landlords to be familiar with the laws of the state and local area.

When it comes to finding the ideal tenant, information is key. Getting a full history of a tenant and running a complete credit and criminal background check is going to identify those tenants that are likely to take care of a property and pay their rent on time.

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