Why should you always screen tenants?

By 4th April 2015Blog

When it comes to landlord problems, an experienced landlord knows that a bad tenant is much worse than a vacant property. Lease default, property damage, default in payments are some of the few issues that can arise when renting out your property to a bad tenant. Fortunately, most of the problems can be eliminated with a consistent and quality screening process.

Why do you need to screen tenants?

Difficulty in evicting tenants: Evicting a bad tenant is not only a complicated procedure, but also a costly one. It involves tremendous amount of paperwork, filing proper forms with the right authorities, and following all legal procedures. It is important to know the correct rules and the laws of your state related to eviction. Some common reasons for evicting a tenant are violating the terms of the tenancy, rent defaults, or using the property for the unlawful purposes.

Financial standing of the tenants: Screening prospective tenants will give you a definite idea of the financial viability of your tenants. You want to select a tenant who is financially sound and can pay all the monthly rents timely. Important information such as how much debt they have will have a major impact on their rent paying ability. Getting a credit report can help you to understand the financials of your tenants, and help you make an informed decision.

Criminal history: Not everyone with a criminal history can create difficulties, but a person with a long criminal history is definitely a red flag and the tenant you may want to avoid. It is important to judge whether a person was alleged for minor charges or they have faced multiple convictions for serious offenses. Criminal history reports will help you screen the right tenants and give you the knowledge to make the correct decision.

Prevent overcrowding: Many properties have prefixed rules about how many people can legally reside in a certain place. It is important as a landlord to make sure that your property is not overfilled, because if the property is misused, you can be held responsible. It is important to screen your tenants and get a fair idea as to how many persons, including minors and adults will be staying in the property.

Debt of previous landlords: If the prospective tenant has skipped many rent payments during his/her prior tenancy, it is a definite signal to avoid such tenants, as they can repeat their previous behavior and default in future payments. Screening the tenants about their performance with the prior landlords can help you avoid bad tenants. With a background screening, you will be able to know whether your prospective tenant was sued by the previous landlord for default in payments or for damaging the property.

Peace of mind: Leasing your property to unknown tenants can be a risky experience, if you are not aware of the credibility of the tenants. Screening them beforehand, with many tools and services will give you the much-needed peace of mind and will help you to make an educated decision about renting your property. Services such as tenant verification, credit reports, criminal history, and more will give you a detailed analysis of the prospective client and will prevent you from making any mistake.

Without properly investigating your prospective client, it might be a huge mistake to handle the keys of your investment properties. It is never a good idea to rent your property without conducting a full background check. Consistent screening will give detailed reports and information you need to make a prudent decision.