Proper tenant screening is crucial and it’s one of the areas that professional property managers can do better than individual landlords. We screen so many people that we have systems and processes in place that are designed to protect landlords and owners. You have to know exactly what you want, and resolve not to settle. Sometimes landlords get a little anxious when their property is vacant on the market. But you have to know what you want and keep your standards high.

Application and Credit

The application is important. Make sure your applicant fills in every question. If its non-applicable, have them check it as not applicable. Sometimes people won’t necessarily lie on their application, but they leave information out, especially if there’s something they’re not comfortable disclosing. When you get the credit report, set it down right next to the application. Make sure that all the landlords they have listed and the previous addresses they have stated match in both the application and the credit report. Sometimes they’ll leave out a landlord who had to evict them or would say something critical.

Checking Income

Ask for pay stubs to check your applicant’s income. Then, call the supervisor. The one question we always ask is this: what is the chance that this employee will be employed for the next five years? No employer will guarantee that, but if there is a layoff coming or the company is thinking about going out of business, you can hear that if you ask the right question.

Landlord References

Check previous landlord references. The current landlord may have a vested interested in glossing over what they don’t like about the tenant, especially if they are in the process of evicting that tenant or anxious to get rid of the tenant. Talk to former landlords. If the tenant was a good tenant, there’s a chance that landlords from years ago won’t remember that person. However, if the applicant was a problem tenant, the landlords will Photo of Gary Walkerremember.

Know what you want and don’t make exceptions. We have a rule about evictions. If the landlord had to pay money to get rid of the tenant, we don’t want the problem. This will serve you in your screening. If you have any questions about tenant screening, please feel free to contact us at Aborn Properties.