Tips for Screening Prospective Tenants as a Landlord

When one of your apartments becomes available, you’ll need to make sure that the next tenant is reliable and responsible. Screening prospective tenants is a crucial part of this process. Nevertheless, it isn’t foolproof. If you don’t properly screen your prospective tenant, you would wind up with problems further down the line.

Below are a few tips to help you screen your prospective tenants:

rental application

Use a rental application

A rental application is essential to screening your future tenants. These applications will provide enough information for you to figure out an individual’s history and determine if they should come to see the apartment.

Rental applications should ask for the following information:

  • Basic contact information
  • Social Security number
  • Driver’s license number (if applicable)
  • Current employer and monthly income
  • Reason for leaving current residence
  • Family information
  • Pet information
  • Criminal background
  • Smoking information
  • References
  • Signature

Run a credit report and background check

The information you gained from a prospective tenant’s rental application can be used to dig deeper into their history. This includes a credit report and background check. These two items can tell you what kind of tenant you are working with.

Examine their questions and attitude

A future tenant may seem great on paper, but not so much in-person. This is why it’s important to invite the tenant to the property for a walk-through. A prospective tenant will likely ask questions during this part, and those questions can tell you a lot about what kind of tenant they will be.

Additionally, the way future tenants present themselves is important, too. Are they well-groomed? Polite? How they behave to you can clue you in on how they will behave towards their neighbors.

Having a qualified property management attorney by your side is a crucial part in screening prospective tenants, as well as any other landlord-tenant issues that may pop up along the way. Contact the Law Offices of Aaron D. Cox at 734-287-3664 to learn more.

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