The Realty Solutions Group is a property management company serving Alexandria and Northern VA. Today we’re talking about tenant screening and what you can do to find the best possible tenant for your rental property. A lot of landlords skip the process completely or they don’t do a thorough job. This is a mistake because if you get a bad tenant in your rental home, you can face a lot of expensive and time consuming problems down the road. Take the time to screen properly.
Check the credit of every applicant who will be on your lease. Very few people have perfect credit, so don’t be surprised if you find one or two late payments in the past. That does not necessarily imply that the applicant is a bad tenant. What you want to look for is a history of late payments, collection accounts or charged off credit card balances. When you get a credit report back that is filled with serious delinquencies, you have to wonder how responsible that person will be when it comes to paying rent on time.
Criminal Record Check
You need to know who is moving into your property, so conduct a criminal background check. It’s perfectly acceptable to reject a tenant who has a lengthy or serious criminal record. You don’t want to put your other tenants in danger, you don’t want to alarm your neighbors and you don’t want to put yourself in danger either. A few speeding tickets is not going to matter, but someone who shows up with violent felonies is someone you may want to pass on.
Employment and Income
Call a tenant’s employer and verify what they list on their application as far as job title and length of employment. You want tenants who have a reliable job and steady income. Remember that not all employers will provide salary information, so you may want to request pay stubs. Make sure the tenant earns enough to cover your rental payment.
It’s very important to call and talk to current and former landlords. Ask about payment history because you’ll want to know if that tenant paid late on a regular basis. You should also ask about the property’s condition and whether the tenant received the entire security deposit back after moving out.
These tenant screening tips will help you choose a qualified tenant for your rental property. If you need any help or you’d like to hear more, please contact us at The Realty Solutions Group.