Tenant screening is a huge responsibility when you are a landlord. It is important that the process be done efficiently and in a timely manner. There are certain steps you will need to take to make tenant screen flawless.
The first step in the process is (if you haven’t already) to determine what the laws are in your state regarding tenant screening. It is crucial to follow the law exactly when screening anyone you are considering renting to. There are certain expectations you will have to comply with and certain expectations your perspective tenant will have to.
Once you are familiar with your local tenant screening laws you can move on to setting the terms of your lease and the qualifications a tenant will have to meet before you agree to rent to them. It is crucial to choose a fair monthly rental price as well as the amount a tenant’s deposit must be in order for them to secure the apartment or house. When it comes time to meet with potential tenants you must be ready to clearly explain the terms of their lease to them.
Create or obtain a rental application that asks for all the pertinent information you will need on file. Before giving out any rental application it is important to ensure that none of the questions asked on the form violate a potential tenant’s right to privacy.
As soon as a potential tenant contacts you to discuss renting your property you should be prepared to ask them certain questions that will help you determine whether or not you would consider renting to them. If you would, you should schedule an appointment for the individual to meet with you. Always call to follow up one business day before the scheduled meeting to make sure you and your prospective tenant are on the same page.
Once you have met with a potential tenant and you are interested in moving forward with their application you will be ready to verify how much money they earn and where they work. Calling the Human Resources department of the company your potential tenant works for is the only ethical way to confirm they are telling the truth about where they work and how much they earn. You will also want to run a credit check on your potential tenant. It is acceptable to ask a potential tenant to show you their credit report so you can determine if renting to them would be risky.
The last step in the tenant screening process can be to research the individual using social media if you choose to. As many employers have taken to doing the same thing with prospective employees, a potential tenant with nothing to hide should have no problem with you doing this. Though there is some controversy surrounding the ethics of screening anyone via their social media profiles, as long as you only use information made available to the public it is completely legal.