Renting out your property is a great way to make extra money. Screening tenants is important because untrustworthy tenants that don’t pay rent or damage your property can cost much more than you bargained for. Here’s how to screen your prospective tenants to help ensure only the most trustworthy ones move in.
3 criteria for screening tenants:
1. Good Credit
A prospective tenant who has good credit pays their bills on time. Alternatively, a tenant with bad credit shows that they do not pay bills on time and are much more likely to default on their rent payments to you. There are numerous tenant screening tools available for landlords to check a tenant’s credit, and doing so could save you the time, hassle, and cost associated with a tenant who doesn’t pay the rent they owe you.
2. No Criminal History
Background checks are also a must before allowing any tenant to move into your property. For example, drug convictions on a criminal record may indicate that there’s a high likelihood that the tenant will use, sell, or manufacture drugs on your property. Don’t take that chance — screening tenants for a criminal history before you rent is a must.
3. Good Rental History
One of the most important things you can check before allowing a prospective tenant to rent your property is their previous rental history. Did they have good relationships with their landlords, or did they leave properties dirty or damaged when they moved out? Taking the time to call around to a tenant’s previous landlords can give you the information you need to decide whether you really want to rent your property to this person.
As with anything, there are always exceptions to the rules. If a bad credit score comes from medical bills from an accident or unforeseen illness, or a previous landlord truly wronged the tenant but is telling a different story, you might not want to let this information influence your decision to rent to a particular tenant as heavily.
Although there can be some costs associated with screening tenants backgrounds, the money you could potentially save by avoiding irresponsible or unreliable tenants more than makes up for it. Make these three critical things mandatory for pre-screening tenants and watch your rental business transform.