Stop playing fast and loose with your rental property. Following your gut feelings can guide you in life, but this is not a wise strategy when you are a landlord. To protect your rental property and have an enjoyable landlord experience, you must do tenant screening.
There is more to it than simply asking questions, though. This guide will show you how to screen tenants by walking you through the best practices.
Start Screening With Your Marketing
You can attract high-quality tenants when you have a well-crafted rental property listing. The way you craft your rental listing will help you attract the best-fitting tenants.
Include all of the relevant information. That way, potential tenants have all the information they need to convince them to apply. Add high-quality images of the entire property to give people an immersive and realistic view of it.
Establish Consistent Criteria
It would be great if you could convince your great tenants to renew, but this doesn't always happen. When looking for your next tenants, you must have a consistent set of criteria. This ensures you do not miss anything when reviewing applications.
Use Nondiscriminatory Language
You do not want to discriminate knowingly or unknowingly. This applies to your marketing materials, application, and lease. Use nondiscriminatory language when speaking to potential tenants and creating written materials.
When creating questions to ask tenants, keep them generalized and avoid anything that could hint at a Florida Fair Housing Act violation. These are the protected classes.
- National origin
- Familial status
Be careful during your casual communications with potential tenants. A comment or question you think is innocent could be considered invasive or offensive.
Get Consent for Background Checks
Running background and criminal checks should be a part of your tenant screening process. You must get consent before obtaining someone's criminal or credit history. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you must tell them what information you will pull and how it will be used.
You cannot automatically disqualify anyone who has any criminal history. You can deny individuals with a felony conviction. However, that conviction must be within the last seven years. You can also deny individuals with a criminal history that qualifies as violent or drug-related.
Your tenant application should include a place for employment and income. However, anyone can write anything they want. Take this information and verify what they wrote.
You could ask for bank statements, paycheck stubs, or other proof of employment. This will verify that the applicant works for the claimed employer and makes what they claim. You can also call the employer's human resources department to verify employment.
Follow Tenant Screening Best Practices
Tenant screening is a must for helping you find a qualified tenant who will pay their rent on time. Start by establishing a set of criteria. It should include a background check and employment verification.
The team of property managers at PMI Palms helps property owners screen potential tenants. Our experience and professionalism allow us to thoroughly screen tenants while complying with the law.
Find high-quality tenants when you follow tenant screening best practices with the help of PMI Palms.