As a landlord, you know that one of the hardest parts of property management is finding the right tenant. How can you trust your precious home or apartment to a stranger you’ve only met once?
We’re here with the answer—tenant background screening! This is a service that landlords can use to do background checks on rental applicants. It covers details such as criminal history, finances, and rental history.
Why is tenant screening so important? Keep reading to find all of the main reasons why no landlord should rent their home without screening first.
Keep Criminals From Accessing Your Property
It sounds extreme, but it’s possible that criminals could be renting your property. Sometimes to live in, but other times, they might use it as a base for making or storing illegal contraband, like drugs.
Or, if a tenant has a criminal record, it’s possible that other illegal activity could happen within your property. Why take the risk?
With a tenant screening service, you can check if an applicant has a criminal record. Then, you can use this information to decide if you’d be comfortable renting your house to them.
Protect the Safety of Your Property
A tenant screening company can also help protect the safety of your property. With screening, you can check the public records to see if a tenant has ever been charged with damage to a rental property, or if they’ve been taken to small-claims court over the issue.
Or, imagine a tenant applying for a property that’s not pet-friendly, but they actually have a Great Dane! Some pets can do serious damage to a property, so landlords have the right to know if the tenant plans to keep a pet.
Repairing damage to walls, carpets, or appliances can be a huge expense, so the cost of a tenant screening will far outweigh the cost of repairing destruction to the home.
Understand the Tenant’s Financial Situation
As a landlord, you need to understand a renter’s finances. Can they afford rent and are they in a position to pay on time each month?
Problems with paying rent are actually the number one issue faced by landlords, so you don’t want to find yourself in a position where you’re chasing down late rent. Or, even worse, facing an eviction—a stressful position for both parties that no one wants to experience.
Not only that, but the eviction process can be very expensive—both in fees and in loss of income from your tenants not paying.
With tenant screening and a credit check, you can learn more about a person’s income, their debt-to-income ratio, and whether or not they’ve ever filed for bankruptcy. You’ll also find out other details, such as information on any student, medical, or personal loans.
This may or may not be relevant to your decision, but it gives you all of the details needed to make a choice to rent to them or not. Just remember that a credit score isn’t everything—someone can have a poor credit score, but may still be very capable of paying rent on time.
As a landlord, you know there’s nothing worse than a vacant property. For each month it sits empty, you’re losing valuable income.
One of the great tenant screening benefits is that it can help reduce turnover. With screening, you can select tenants who are respectful, caring people who are looking for a long-term home to call their own.
Many tenants are happy to live in a property for years, which works out well both for them and for the landlord. Proper screening will help you find these dream tenants who can’t wait to move into your home.
Tenant Screening Gives Landlords Peace of Mind
One of the best reasons to invest time and effort into screening is for peace of mind. Your rental property isn’t just a building—it’s a treasured home with lots of family memories and you worked hard to purchase it.
Would you feel comfortable letting a stranger move into your home, one that you knew nothing about? Most people wouldn’t!
Tenant screening for property management is a fantastic way to enjoy peace of mind and reassurance that you’re renting your home to someone trustworthy and responsible. That way, you can sleep well at night, knowing your valuable investment home is not in any danger of misuse or damage.
In some cases, tenant screening might be mandatory. For example, if you’re renting your home out through a rental agency, they might require it for liability reasons.
Or, your rental insurance might require it, in order for you to be covered under their policies.
Landlords are required to do their due diligence before renting, so tenant screening is sometimes a required step before the property can legally be rented out.
Never Let Someone Move Into Your Property Without Tenant Background Screening First
As a landlord, there are so many fantastic reasons to invest in tenant background screening. It’s the best way to protect your home, so we recommend finding a tenant screening service that you can work with.
Whether you manage one or multiple properties, they can do all of the hard work for you, vetting applicants so you find the ideal person. Then, sign the lease—your new tenant will love your home, and you’ll rest easy knowing your home is in good hands!
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