The tenants you choose to place in your property will have a major impact on the type of rental experience you have as a landlord. With a good tenant, you’ll collect rent on time, and your property will be well-maintained. With a bad tenant, you’ll constantly be chasing down late rent and working overtime to enforce your lease. The tenant you end up with depends on your screening process.
Screening your prospective tenants is extremely important before deciding to lease your property to them. You want to be sure the best and most qualified person is in your property. Here at Action Properties, we have a two-part process to help screen for ideal candidates.
Although it’s pretty self-explanatory, the first part of the screening process is the credit checks we run, which are extremely crucial. A credit check is a mandatory step you must take as an owner when you’re screening applications for your investment property.
First, you want to look for past evictions and past balances that are due on a previous rental. These are huge red flags because if the prospective tenant was evicted or owes money to other landlords or management companies, they probably aren’t going to be reliable when they’re renting from you.
On the credit report, you can also look for past due utility bills. Someone who is not going to pay their power bill is most likely pay late rent, either. That is a strong indication that this may not be the best tenant for your property. While credit does not have to be perfect, you want to see a record of strong payments when it comes to housing and housing-related expenses.
Criminal Background Checks
The second part of the screening process is the criminal background check. Again, this is another extremely crucial step you don’t want to overlook when you’re screening tenants. What you want to look for is obviously no criminal history. That’s ideal. But, a few traffic citations don’t have to be deal breakers. You definitely do not want to see charges of property damage or personal damage, as these would clearly be red flags. You do not want a possible tenant with a history of damaging property. You also don’t want to put neighbors or other tenants in a building at risk by renting your property to someone with a history of violent or drug-related crimes.
These two parts are pretty standard for property management companies. All our applicants go through both the credit and criminal background checks. We look at everything in a very fair and very consistent manner. This is the best way to find the most qualified tenant for your property.
Other things to look at include income and employment. You also want to check their rental history, and talk to current or former landlords about how they performed previously. Ask about whether rent was paid on time or property damage was left behind.
Thorough and rigorous screening is essential to your success as a landlord. If you have any additional questions regarding the screening process in Reno, please feel free to contact us at Action Properties.