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Best Tenant Screening Service To Safeguard Your Investment

About 109 million people in the United States live in rental housing. With tenants forming such a large part of the population, tenant screening becomes an important norm. Tenant screening is essentially about seeking a better idea of your potential renters and shortlisting suitable tenants and sifting out the risky options.

Without thorough screening, you run the risk of choosing untrustworthy and dishonest renters. A good tenant screening process examines the suitability and reliability of the potential tenants. The process includes several steps: an interview, references, credit check, criminal background check, and eviction history report. In this guide page, we’ll walk you through some of the crucial aspects of tenant screening.

Why is tenant screening important?

With 36% of American households living in rental properties, the investors cannot ignore the need for tenant screening. From protecting your property and community to safeguarding your interests while abiding by the Fair Housing Act, tenant screening helps you in many aspects.

Without meticulous checks in place, you are onboarding anyone. , But if you use a tenant screening process, you will ensure the safety of your property, residents, and reputation, among several other things.

The tenant background check has multiple benefits for property owners and investors—

  • By checking for violent crimes and property damage, you ensure that your tenant will not harm your premises.
  • You can judge whether a potential tenant is trustworthy and will adhere to the Fair Housing Act (FHA).
  • You can determine how financially responsible a tenant is.
  • Ideal tenants will not tarnish your image within the community.

Top 5 best practices for effective tenant screening

Now that we’ve established the undeniable need for screening your tenants, let us look at how you should go about the process. The ideal approach should be convenient for both owners and tenants. Here are some best practices to follow for a smooth sailing screening process.

  1. Set the eligibility criteria for tenants
    Since you will most likely receive several applications, creating a fundamental eligibility benchmark can help you weed out unwanted applications. In addition, adhering to these guidelines will ensure that problematic tenants are ruled out at the very beginning of the screening process.Here are a few requirements you should consider including in your eligibility criteria:

    • No criminal history
    • Minimum income
    • Good rent payment history
    • Minimum credit score
    • Compliance with Fair Housing Rules
    • Minimum number of references
  2. Process rental applications carefully
    After collecting all the information you need, you can start processing all the rental applications. But first, you need to design a system to obtain applications, set an application fee, and process the applications.
    Part of this process also involves background checks, employment history, rental history, credit checks, and any other activities needed to assess the candidate. Pay special attention to this step —Shortlist applicants who are genuinely interested and meet the minimum criteria for your property.
  3. Perform a thorough tenant background check
    A thorough background check is the essence of the tenant screening process. You need to invest adequate time and effort to understand your shortlisted tenants in and out. A background check includes many minor procedures and assessments.Reaching out to a prospective tenant’s employer has specific liability issues. You need to be well versed with your local regulations and ask only as much as is permitted. If your candidate is an entrepreneur or freelancer, you’ll have to develop an alternate process to evaluate the consistency of their income and financial eligibility.

    In addition to employers, you should also reach out to an applicant’s previous landlords. They can give you valuable insights into the candidate’s behavior, payment history, and rental history.

    You need to perform these checks for all of your shortlisted candidates to ensure that the selection process is fair and equitable.

  4. Interview interested renters with the right questions
    Once you’ve shortlisted the tenants you’re interested in onboard, conduct a short interview with them. Being prepared with the right questions ensures that both parties are comfortable during the interview and that all crucial matters are discussed.
    While creating the list of questions for potential tenants, you can make the selection process more efficient by developing two sets. One list of questions can be for everyone interested in the property. In contrast, the other can be exclusive of serious candidates that come to meet you and check out the premises in person.Here are a few good questions to ask in the interview—

    • Why did you decide to move out of your current residence?
    • Paint a picture of your usual routine.
    • Have you broken a lease agreement before?
    • Do you plan frequent overnight events with guests?

    Designing these questions will allow you to understand better the kind of applicant you’re looking for. You will also be able to gather all the information you need about interested tenants.

  5. Examine financial ability and credit reports
    If an applicant is not financially secure or has a bad credit report, it can be a significant red flag. Once you receive the credit reports and any other financial checks, take some time to understand them. Then, inspect your applicant’s financial obligations, payment history, and prior defaults to assess their ability to pay rent.

Tenant screening might be long-drawn, but it is important to understand a person before letting them live on your property. If you want to design a practical approach to weed out high-risk tenants and shortlist genuinely secure candidates, do not make the process overly complicated. The screening should be straightforward and hassle-free.

Most importantly, the process should be the same for everyone. A standard procedure will ensure no discrimination, and the tenants do not have to go through extreme measures to prove themselves. In this day and age, allowing a tenant without screening could mean a lot of trouble. Carry out your due diligence and find prospective tenants that you trust will not harm your property.

Find quality tenants with Beach Front Property Management

Beach Front Property Management is committed to helping you build a lively community. As a trusted property management team, we follow a rigorous 8-step tenant screening process to minimize the eviction rate and maximize your satisfaction. With our efficient screening approach, there is no scope for uncertainty!

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