One of the most challenging tasks for a property owner looking to rent out their real estate is to find reliable and responsible tenants. The last thing you want is to deal with difficult tenants and ongoing disputes. Therefore, read this post to learn the best tips from our expert property manager for screening and selecting qualified tenants.
Determine Screening Criteria
This should be done even before you advertise your rental property. Remember that if you’re clear about the screening criteria, it will become easier to filter potential applicants and speed up the process. So, here’s what you can do to define your tenant screening criteria:
Credit Score: Determine the minimum credit score you require from applicants. A good credit score indicates financial responsibility.
Income: Decide on a minimum income requirement. Generally, tenants should earn at least three times the monthly rent.
Criminal Background: Establish a policy regarding criminal history, considering the nature and recency of any convictions.
Rental History: Check for a history of timely rent payments and any prior evictions. Contact previous landlords for references.
Pet Policy: If you allow pets, specify your pet policy, including breed and size restrictions and any associated fees.
Create a Proper and Comprehensive Rental Form
The rental form should be professionally designed so that all necessary information about the tenants is collected. This will make it easier for you to shortlist potential tenants once you start reviewing their details. Hence, the form should collect the following information:
- Personal information
- Employment details
- Rental history
- Income verification (stubs)
- Authorization for background and credit checks
Contact Their Previous Landlords
If the potential tenant has a rental history, try reaching out to their previous landlords. This will help you verify them, including their payment history and behavior during the contractual period.
Check References and Verify Employment
Contact the references provided by the applicant, such as personal references or employers, to confirm the accuracy of the information provided.
Interview Potential Tenants
Once you have narrowed down your applicant pool, schedule interviews with them. This helps:
- Clarify questions about their rental application
- Assess their communication skills
- Ensure they understand and agree to the lease terms
- Understand their expectations and explain what you expect from them
Make Your Selection
The last stage involves carefully selecting the most suitable tenant for your property, a choice informed by the outcomes of your screening process. It’s essential to evaluate applicants against your established criteria and opt for the one who meets and potentially exceeds these benchmarks.
Additionally, you should consider other factors such as their compatibility with the property, effective communication skills, and their eagerness to become a tenant. It is advisable to create a comprehensive record of your screening process and the final decision, serving as valuable future reference and evidential documentation.
Hire a Professional Community Property Management Company
The process of screening and selecting qualified tenants can be time-consuming and stressful especially. Therefore, it is best to partner with an experienced provider of real estate management services. Work with an expert property manager to navigate the complexities of hiring qualified tenants smoothly. Contact us for a free consultation if you’re in the West Palm beach and Boynton Beach areas. Let our community property management company handle the screening and selection process for a stress-free experience.