Tenants are one of the essential variables in a property management solution. While the ideal tenant pays rent on time and abides by the rules set down in agreement, a poor tenant can create trouble for the property manager and damage the property management company’s reputation. Therefore, it is essential to follow a checklist to ensure the proper selection of tenants and avoid high-risk tenants.
The tenant screening process involves several steps. A property manager must set down tenant criteria and screen the rental applications according to that checklist. Building a checklist for the tenant screening process may seem complex, but it is an excellent tool for selecting suitable tenants. Here’s a 10-point checklist that property managers may follow to screen tenants before renting them the property.
Tenant Screening Checklist
✔ Creating Specific Tenant Criteria: This criterion can involve income levels, lifestyle criteria, background, etc. While preparing specific tenant criteria, it is essential to check the Fair Housing Laws to avoid legal complications. A property manager must mention these criteria in the rental listing.
✔ Scanning Rental Application: Screening according to the criteria starts with the scanning of the rental application. A property manager must go through the application thoroughly to ensure the prospective tenant fits the requirements of a good tenant.
✔ Conducting An interview: While people write a lot in their rental application, there are instances where it may not match with the person in reality. A property manager can conduct a video interview or talk to the prospective tenant over the phone to gain more insight.
✔ Employment Check: To avoid poor tenant selection, a property manager must execute an employment check. It involves calling the employer and enquiring about the position and nature of the prospective tenant.
✔ Rental History: Has the prospective tenant paid their rent on time to their previous landlord(s)? A property manager needs to check and evaluate the rental history of the tenant of the prior landlord.
✔ Background Check: Checking whether a tenant has a criminal record is another essential step in tenant screening. This also includes inquiring whether the prospective tenant has any bad habit that may lead to disturbance in the building, property, or neighborhood as a whole.
✔ Credit Score: Checking the credit score enables a property manager to judge whether the prospect is deep in debt or has been a good borrower. Choosing a tenant with a high amount of debt is risky.
✔ Property viewing and face-to-face conversation: A property manager often meets the prospects for a property viewing session. It is essential to check the suitability of the tenant at this point and evaluate their first impression.
✔ Sending out acceptance or rejection mail: Keeping a prospect hanging on the approval can harm the brand reputation of a property management company. At the end of the tenant screening process, the property manager should email about accepting or rejecting the rental application.
✔ Onboarding tenants: Once the tenant screen process is at the last stage, the property manager must ensure smooth onboarding of the selected tenants.
Tenant Screening can be a hectic and lengthy process if the right approach is missing. Property management software serves as a great solution to provide a seamless tenant screening process. It can help in screening the rental application according to the pre-defined criteria. Therefore, efficient property management software can cut down the effort of a property manager in search of a good tenant. Blending technology with a human approach can help a property management company thrive.