“Unscreened tenants pose a danger to a residential property owner’s investment. The damage could be as simple as late rent payments or no payments at all, or as complex as complete destruction of property or cleaning up a meth lab.”
Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) December 14, 2016
Screening tenants is a must for any landlord, says CEO Copley Broer of LandlordStation, a leading provider of online software for the property management industry.
“Unscreened tenants pose a danger to a residential property owner’s investment,” Broer said. “The damage could be as simple as late rent payments or no payments at all, or as complex as complete destruction of property or cleaning up a meth lab.”
Being mindful of these four tips will aid property managers in landing tenants that will keep them in the black.
1. Create a law-abiding screening policy before advertising a rental for lease.
Have a fair screening policy that follows all laws, especially the Fair Housing Act. The FHA states landlords cannot refuse to rent to a person because of their inclusion in one of seven protected classes – race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability or family (presence of children). The best way for landlords to protect themselves from even the appearance of discrimination is to have documented policies that are followed with each applicant that applies for the rental, as well as each tenant that is accepted into the rental.
2. Include good questions on your application.
Consider asking potential tenants to share their employment, rental, criminal and eviction histories; reason for leaving current residency; and for permission to contact their references and check their credit. Number of adults applying, along with type and number of pets, are also good things to know, especially if you’re leasing a one-bedroom condo that you want to keep pet-free with a maximum of two adults.
3. Require an application fee.
This will assist landlords and property managers in avoiding those that aren’t serious about a rental. Requiring an application fee can save owners the annoyance of spending time on someone that was only browsing, as well as save money on credit reports and background checks for people who were never going to move in the first place.
4. Run a credit check.
Credit reports inform landlords if prospective tenants have a history of making late payments, how much debt applicants have, if accounts have been closed due to lack of payment and whether there are any collections. These reports also reveal if applicants have applied for a loan or a credit card, how often they apply, as well as how recently, and whether the potential tenant has any liens or civil judgments. Numerous late payments coupled with many applications for loans could collectively indicate that the applicant has trouble paying their bills.
LandlordStation, based in Dallas, Texas, has provided online solutions to more than 80,000 landlords and property managers. The company's product lineup includes tenant screening, tenant portals, online rent payments, document and data management, and e-signatures. To learn more, visit https://www.landlordstation.com.