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Tenant Screening Screening Your Next Rental Candidate

There are tenants who damage your property, never clean, continue to disturb the neighborhood, and always late to pay the rent and still 4 out of 10 landlords don’t perform even basic credit checks on their rental candidates.

The minimum screening you as a landlord should do is a Credit Check. This tells you a lot about the candidate who wants to rent from you. The Credit Check will inform you how your candidate manages his money. You can see:

Credit card Balances
Number of Credit cards
Credit Cards Paid
Loans outstanding
Loans Paid
Collection Items
Credit Score

These items are important pieces that will create a profile of your rental candidate and then you choose the best profile from your candidates to achieve stable, reliable cash flow without the headaches that have plagued other landlords in the past.

Other checks you can perform are:

criminal background check
eviction history report
sex offender registry check

Checking with the rental candidates employer is another big step to verify their application information. Ask the employer to verify the information provided on the rental application: occupation, length of employment and, maybe you can verify the salary, stated on the rental application. Most employment checks get a verification of employment and thats all, but sometimes you may get information with the way its answered and sometimes you can get more from someone who is willing to share information on the candidate if the right questions are asked. Such as, Are they a key employee or Does their performance warrant future employment with your company? or Are they an outstanding employee?

If the rental candidate is self-employed, you should check the income as cash flow can vary month to month, you may ask for copies of income tax forms for the past 2 years, as well as bank statements for the most recent 6 month period. Then compare the applicant’s income to the annual needs to pay your rent.

If the rental candidate is unemployed, don’t dimiss them yet. First check the candidates bank account. If the rental candidate has enough money in the bank to last six months while looking for employment, you might still consider that rental candidate.

To help you feel more at ease, you can request the first 2 months’ rent in advance. However, if the rental candidate does not have the funds of support for more than 3 months, or the rental candidate lied about their employment on the rental application, continue to look at other rental candidates.

If a rental candidate lists other sources of income on the application such as alimony payments, Social Security or sales commissions, ask for records to back up the information. Either way, you should do a thorough screening that includes not only verifying employment, but also performing a credit check, talking with previous landlords and reviewing criminal, sex offender and terrorist records.

A complete and thorough rental candidate screening can save you many headaches in the long run.

It is difficult to verify a rental candidates financial information through the bank, as the banks have strict confidentiality laws and rules that often prevent them from giving out any information.

There are services offered by companies that do these checks for you. Many, if not all, can complete the checks requested using your computer via the internet almost immediately. These companies build a profile of the rental candidate through a report generated by the name, social security number and the permission of the candidate to execute the checks through their signature.

Your application should include a line for personal references. Then call each reference. By calling each reference of the rental candidate you may uncover other items of interest when making a decision.

Another reason to call is to ensure the rental candidate supplied you with real names and phone numbers of their references. So if you cant reach a reference because there is no answer or the phone is disconnected, then something is not right.

However, talking with good references could put your mind at ease when renting to the candidate. These people then provide you with contacts if your renter fails to pay rent, or skips out on the lease or gets into other trouble.

For more information or a specific service provider contact Rentmarkets.com where we provide candidates to the landlord for less.