Tried and True Tenant Screening Test Tips
When you are a landowner and have property of your own, you know how profitable it is to have a tenant. It is a stable source of income from your investment and helps you keep the quality of your property in shape. You can put up your property as vacation holiday rentals.
In order to get the maximum benefit from your property investment, a good quality tenant is a must. They are the key to long-term profits. In order to get these quality tenants and peace of mind, a proper screening process needs to be followed. If a landowner skips a proper and concrete screening process, they end up suffering from delayed payments, miserable house conditions, illegalities, etc. No matter what kind of software you are applying for your screening, some of the signs are still missing which can only be caught with manual screening.
There are some skills which only the human mind can perform (at least in the present), so we are here to help you have a concrete screening process for rental applications, for your vacation holiday rentals or normal long-term rentals.
1. Have qualification criteria for your tenants through documentation-
In order to have good quality tenants, there must be some basic eligibility criteria that you would like to prefer. However, do not base these criteria on race, gender, disabilities, or family status. These can become grounds for discrimination in many jurisdictions. Basic criteria such as income, qualification, the background should be documented and only the applicants having these qualifications should be forwarded for the further review process.
2. Do a background check on the income source-
In vacation holiday rentals or cheap apartments for rent, any type of rental agreement needs a proper check on the source of income for the tenant. No matter what the applicant is telling about his/her income, document proof of that income. This proof should be official and from verified sources only. Examples of government certificates, income tax return certificates, bank returns, accounts can be taken to verify the income of your applicant.
3. Social media profiles-
Nowadays, people share a lot of information on social media. If you want to know about the life of a person, you can check their social media such as Facebook and Instagram. You can see their past residences, through the process, job titles, business, family, etc. in these profiles and match them with the information given by the applicant to you.
4. Previous rental history-
This is a very important screening process. When you are giving an apartment for rent even in terms of vacation holiday rentals, you might consider having a check on their previous tenant history. Contact their previous landlords to know about their behaviors. Don’t contact their current landlord, since they may paint a fake picture just to get rid of the applicant from their property. In such cases, previous landlords who are not leasing their property anymore can be a reliable source of information.
5. Background check on all the applicants-
A screening process must necessarily include a background check of the applicant in all forms. All the people who are going to be living on your property should be investigated. This includes spouses, parents, and relatives also. Apart from the kids, it is necessary to know you’re not allowing criminals, etc. into your property.
6. Rental application-
A rental application needs to be filled completely without missing any details. If your application is missing out on anything, it means he may be hiding something. In cases of issues and disputes, these applications will help you substantiate your claim against the tenant, so make sure you get them filled properly and fully.
7. Don’t include unnecessary comments on the application-
When you are signing the rental application, and adding comments to it, the good practice is that you only include comments that pertain to rental fees. Any other comment than rental fees may be used against you in case of litigation or disputes. For example, if you write not married, or having children in the rental application, it will help the other party in their discrimination claim. Make sure you are discreet and crisp in your comments.
8. Keep the application safe-
You should keep the application of your tenant safe and secure. They contain sensitive personal information which should be accessed by anyone except you. It should be on a strict need-to-know basis.
9. False positives-
While doing the background check, make sure you check the criminal history also. There might be some people who gave a very common name and their name might be associated with a criminal. In order to be sure, see the criminal history to see if it’s the same person or a different person.
10. Hire a property manager-
A property manager will help you with the screening process properly. He/she will also be updated about the latest law and developments regarding rentals. They prevent the landowners from making common mistakes such as discriminatory language in the advertisement, unnecessary stipulations in the contract contrary to the law, etc. They will have a systematized process of rentals and screening and will help you find a quality tenant.
Finding a good tenant is very important. Whether you are giving up your place for vacations, long-term rentals, or short-term rentals, a quality tenant is an added asset. These tips above will help you find that tenant and make your screening process robust and concrete for the future.