When renting out your property, you really want to know who the people are when they apply to live in your home. Tenant screening is important and should cover all of the major topics, including financial information, criminal histories and past rental experiences.
As you screen your tenants, we recommend you look for income that is at least three times the amount of rent. You also want to do a thorough background check to ensure you are not renting to a person with a criminal history. Check out the rental history as well so you know whether the applicants have been good tenants in the past.
It’s always a good idea to check the credit score of your applicants. Just remember that you will rarely get a tenant with a credit score of 800. There are a lot of people who are choosing the rental market over a home purchase because they may have gone through some recent financial struggles, and they are trying to build their credit and financial references back up. In these cases, it might be okay to work with someone who has average or even just below average credit. If all the other considerations in your background check are favorable and the applicant has enough income and there are no landlord collections on the credit report, we might recommend to an owner or investor that the person be approved. If there is still some hesitance, you can ask for a larger security deposit to reduce the risk.
A lot goes into tenant screening. In addition to doing all of the background checks, you also have to talk to the potential tenants. You want to know how many people will be living in the property and whether they have pets. Pet deposits are always a good idea and always verify the type of pet a tenant is bringing into the property. You do not want to have an aggressive breed of dog or an animal that can damage your property.
Our goal as property managers is to protect our investors and find the best tenant for your property. When we complete our tenant screening, we create a total recap that summarizes what we find to ensure the owners are involved in the process. We think it’s important they get a detailed overview of who will be living in their property so there are no surprises.
If you have any questions about tenant screening, or you’d like any more information on how we manage properties, please contact us at Property Services of Atlanta.