Tenant Screening: Protect your Assets

If you’re a property owner, chances are you’ve put a lot of time and energy into your properties. You’d want your future tenants to cause as few problems as possible and treat your property with respect and care, all while keeping up with their rental payments. Finding a good tenant can be an overwhelming challenge – but don’t fear! Tenant screening can save you time and energy and protect your assets in the long run! Here are some important steps to take in screening your potential tenants:

Check the applicant’s financial situation.

Gaining insight into your applicant’s current and past financial situation can be incredibly helpful in determining whether or not they will be a good fit. Learning more about where your applicant stands financially can help you forecast if they will be able to maintain their payments or even qualify.

“A full credit report will help you to get a better idea of your applicant’s current financial situation. Do they have a large amount of outstanding debt? Have they recently applied for more credit? Have they recently had a credit card charged off? This type of information can be helpful in giving you a fuller picture of an applicant’s financial situation.” Andrea Collatz, MySmartMove.

Look into the applicant’s criminal history.

Another important aspect of tenant screening is checking your applicant’s criminal history. This is essential in terms of protecting your property and your community.

According to the tenant screening service SmartMove, 28% of SmartMove applicants had a criminal hit on their record. In addition, it has been found that 60% of landlords believe that criminal history is more important than financial history! Knowing your applicant’s criminal background can help protect your community from sex offenders, drug dealers, and more.

Check the applicant’s eviction history.

Okay, so maybe you already understand how important it is to screen for financial and criminal history. Well, if protecting your assets is important to you, then chances are you would want to avoid evictions as well. Evictions can be long and complicated and could cost you around $2500-$3500 out of pocket. In addition to that, research has shown that previous evictions are predictive of future evictions. That gives you all the more reason to screen your potential tenant!

I have personally witnessed a landlord deal with a long and drawn-out eviction in which the tenants refused to pay rent for months on end and caused high dollar property damage. What landlord wants to deal with court dates and loss of income? The answer is nobody, so avoid the drama and screen your applicants before you follow through with anything.

Those are just a few reasons tenant screening is important and can protect not only you but the community as well!  To learn more about tenant screening, check out Beach Front’s 8-Step Resident Screening Process.

Allison Letender

Allison Letender is passionate about learning all-things related to psychology, business, and real estate, and is currently pursuing her real estate license. When she’s not working or conducting research, she enjoys golfing, cooking, working out, and most importantly spending time…
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