4 Thoughts on Landlords: How do you screen a potential tenant?
  1. Reply
    March 2, 2013 at 4:34 am


    I don’t know all the procedures but these are critical. (we’ve had our rental property with a management company except for time)
    1. if they do not have the funds for both a deposit and first and last don’t rent to them ( I have learned from experiencee that if they don’t have a vested interest they can tear it up and leave)
    2. while I think management companies run credits I’m not so up on that-just gt the deposit and first/last
    3. do a through walk thru with the tenants and explain what is expected of them (I have spent $ 350 twice-once in 2006 and another this month to have the A/C cleaned-all because they did not replace the A/C filters)
    4. If you’re a local manager (you live where the rental is) and you are able to do repairs it works well. If you are, however, a distant owner you might want to purchase an extended warranty policy
    mine is american home shield (you can look them up online) it runs $ 42.+ monthly and a $ 60 service call. it fixes most things.
    5. my daughter has two rentals on their property and they have had nothing but headaches, because they did’nt follow the first/last and deposit rule. their tenants don’t remain current on the rent and leave with no notice (no deposit and no first/last.
    I had a tenant for 10 years and reduced their rent to help them out and let them (her-they got divorced) use their deposit to help with rent. she gave notice and moved out (my wife and I spent 7 weeks and $ 6,000 to repair it when she moved out)
    6. have in the rental agreement that you have inspection privliges annually

    bottom line-get the money up front and keep on top of things

  2. Reply
    March 2, 2013 at 4:57 am

    Credit check
    Employment check
    Last 2 weeks pay stubs
    Background check
    Personal references
    Past landlord references

  3. Reply
    March 2, 2013 at 5:16 am

    Of course, screening is the most important thing you can do to protect your investment and avoid problems.

    If you haven’t processed applications before, consider taking a landlord training class and contacting a good local screening company. They should be able to provide you with criteria. Credit checks not only tell you whether they have a lot of collections, but you can use it to confirm the applicant’s prior addresses and whether they owe money You also want to run court checks for prior evictions, collections, and criminal records.

    Screening may seem like a hassle may take you longer to rent the property, but getting a problem tenant out is much harder.

  4. Reply
    March 2, 2013 at 5:19 am

    I verify everything, talk to the last 2 landlords and the present employer. I verify, against the credit report, that the last 2 landlords are the ones listed (sometimes people skip the landlord they screwed over). I also verify that the person listed is really the landlord.

    I decline anyone with more then 1 landlord a year.

    I decline anyone who has some sob story about their previous landlord.

    I decline anyone with a dirty, unkept car.

    I do a criminal background check, deep enough that I know about every traffic ticket.

    I sometimes drive by their present residence to see if they have kept the yard up. (I rent houses).

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