Roughly 36% of the 122.8 million households in the United States are rental properties.
Tenant screening is essential for landlords and property managers. It ensures that they rent to responsible and reliable tenants.
Many owners make mistakes in tenant screening that can cause problems down the line. Read on to learn six screening mistakes all property owners should avoid!
1. Skipping Background Checks for Tenants
One of the biggest mistakes landlords can make is to skip background checks for tenants. Background checks are crucial in the tenant screening process.
The results can reveal important information about a tenant's history. This includes criminal, credit, and previous rental history.
It's essential to conduct thorough background checks on all tenants.
2. Not Conducting Credit Checks for Tenants
Another common mistake landlords make is not conducting credit checks for tenants. Credit checks reveal a tenant's creditworthiness and ability to pay rent on time.
By not conducting credit checks, landlords may rent to tenants with poor credit. They may struggle to pay rent and other bills on time, leading to financial losses.
Credit checks will help verify that tenants can pay rent on time each month.
3. Asking the Wrong Tenant Interview Questions
During the tenant screening process, landlords often interview prospective tenants. Interviews help landlords get to know applicants better and address any concerns.
Asking the right tenant interview questions is crucial to find the best tenant. Landlords may ask the wrong questions or not ask any questions at all.
Prepare a list of relevant tenant interview questions to ask. This will ensure you know everything you need to before signing the lease agreement.
4. Not Verifying Information
Landlords should also verify the information provided by tenants. If they don't double-check rental applications, landlords may get stuck with unqualified tenants.
Tenants may provide false or misleading information on their rental application. Renters might falsify their employment history or income.
Be sure to check employment and rental references. References can confirm all information provided by tenants, including employment history and income.
5. Not Using Tenant Screening Software
Technology is a vital tool for landlords during the tenant screening process. However, many landlords make the mistake of not using tenant screening software.
This software can automate the process of checking backgrounds and credit. Tenant screening software can shorten the process and make it more efficient.
6. Inconsistent Screening
A common mistake landlords make is screening tenants inconsistently.
Some landlords may not have a set process in place. Others may have different standards for different tenants.
This inconsistency can lead to discrimination and other issues. Landlords should screen using the same standards for all applicants to find the right tenant.
Prevent Mistakes In Tenant Screening
These common mistakes in tenant screening can cause problems for landlords. Landlords can find reliable tenants by avoiding the mistakes in this article.
Always thoroughly screen candidates, including credit, employment, and criminal history.
McLain Properties has been a leader in San Diego real estate since 1978. Contact us to learn more about our property management services!