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A Quick Landlord's Guide to Tenant Screening

A Quick Landlord's Guide to Tenant Screening

The Fair Housing Act is one of several laws landlords must follow when choosing tenants for their rental properties. You must understand these laws and follow them when selecting tenants for your units if you own rentals. Additionally, you need to develop effective tenant screening procedures to ensure that you pick the right tenants. 

If you don't have adequate procedures in place right now, you might want to start developing a plan. This guide will explain the most important things you should know and do when screening tenants. 

Require an Application

You can initiate the tenant screening process by requiring applications. If you need help creating an application, talk to a property management company. They can help you with this step and others. 

The application should ask for several vital things, including the following:

  • Person's name
  • Address and phone number
  • Employer's name
  • Previous landlord names and phone numbers
  • Authorization to perform various verification checks
  • A non-refundable deposit

When a potential tenant completes the application, you can begin the screening procedure. 

Ask for Proof of Income

One of the best landlord tips to follow is asking the applicants for proof of income when they apply for available units. Verifying a person's income is one of the best ways to screen tenants. After all, they need income to pay their rent. 

Here are some forms of proof you can accept from potential tenants:

  • Pay stubs
  • W-2 statements
  • 1099s 
  • Tax returns
  • Bank statements 

Applicants can use numerous documents and methods for proving their income. 

Perform a Credit Check

Some of the best landlord advice you might ever receive is to perform a credit check on every applicant. 

A person's credit reveals vital things about the person. People with great credit work hard to pay their bills on time and effectively manage their money. As a result, good credit often means they'll be a good tenant. 

A poor credit score might reveal that the person will have trouble paying their rent. 

Research the Applicant's Background

A tenant background check is also important to include in your tenant screenings. A background check tells you if the person has a criminal record. 

Renting to people with criminal records might be a risk for your rental property business, so you may want to proceed with caution when considering renting to people with criminal records. 

Contact Previous Landlords

Finally, you should consider contacting previous landlords when conducting screenings. You can learn many things about people by speaking with their previous landlords. 

For example, you can find out if they paid their rent on time. You can also ask if they'd consider renting to that person again. 

Tenant Screenings Help You Choose the Best Tenants

Performing tenant screenings might take some time and cost some money, but they help you pick the right people for your rental properties. 

If you don't have time to handle these steps, contact us at Blackbird Realty and Management, Inc. in Las Vegas. We offer all kinds of property management services, including tenant screenings.