Placing a well-qualified tenant in your Fort Worth rental property is necessary if you want to have a successful investment experience. Bad tenants only bring stress and expenses, and those things are best avoided. A good tenant can be relied upon to pay rent on time, take care of your home, and follow the terms of your lease agreement.
When you’re looking for the best tenants, it’s important to implement a good screening process. There are several things we do when we screen tenants, and we’re sharing those tips with you today.
Consistent Rental Standards Provide Protection
There’s no point in screening tenants who will not be qualified to rent your home. Consider providing a written set of rental standards and criteria. Prospective tenants will then know what you’re looking for when you screen their applications. It demonstrates and shares your high standards, which you must commit to when you’re choosing a tenant. Before a tenant applies for your home, make sure he or she is familiar with your standards. This will also protect you from fair housing claims. You can show that you follow the same screening process and require the same standards to be met every time an application is submitted.
Conduct National Criminal and Credit Checks
Check for criminal history. Search databases nationwide, and look for past evictions as well. Review a prospective tenant’s credit score and credit report. You don’t necessarily need to rent to a tenant with perfect credit. But, you do want someone who takes financial responsibilities seriously. Review past debts and make sure no money is currently owed to former landlords or management companies.
Verify the Income and Employment on the Application
An important part of the screening process is assessing income. Your tenants need to earn enough money to pay for rent every month. Talk to employers and verify your applicant’s employment. You can ask them how long the prospective tenant has been employed, and you can ask about their salary. If the employer is not willing to share that information, ask your applicant to provide pay stubs or bank statements or tax records.
Contact Current and Former Landlord References
You’ll need to understand a tenant’s rental history, and you want to make sure landlords have had positive experiences with this tenant in the past. The way a tenant has treated landlords and properties in the past is a good indication of how they perform in your property. Ask for landlord contact information, and talk to them about whether rent was paid on time. Ask if there was any property damage beyond wear and tear, and if the tenant had pets. Find out if the lease terms were followed and if enough notice was given before the tenant moved out. Always ask if the landlord would be willing to rent to that tenant again. All rental verification is done through our office in writing.
Once you have all the data you need from your screening process, you can make a decision about whether the applicant meets your requirements. A good screening process allows you to find the right tenant and protects you from hassles and problems in the future.
We have a consistent and effective screening process in place, and we’d love to tell you more about it. Contact us at Trend Property & Management when you need help leasing your Fort Worth rental property.