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Is It Time to Improve Your Tenant Screening Process?

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Tenants are necessary to generate income from a rental property. Without good residents, investors can’t generate consistent income, and properties won’t be a sound long-term investment.

So, how do you find good renters? It’s necessary to screen tenants to avoid bad ones! Have you reviewed your screening practices lately? If you’re dealing with difficult residents, your tenant screening process might need a revamp. Check out these tips from our Palm Springs property management team!

What Makes a Good Tenant Screening Process?

A thorough screening process requires more than reviewing applications and hoping for the best! Property owners need a detailed process that follows the law and helps identify worthwhile renters while weeding out potentially bad tenants that could lead to income loss. 

Close up hand of home, apartment agent or realtor handshake with newlandlord

Property managers recommend a few critical aspects of any tenant screening process to help make it efficient and effective. Every application should collect enough information about a prospective tenant to run an in-depth background review. This process includes:

  • Credit history. Property owners should screen review an applicant’s credit report, as this tells you how they spend their money, pay back their debt, and how likely it is that they can keep up with monthly rental payments.
  • Proof of employment and income. Without a job or source of income, a renter might have trouble paying the rent. Review current check stubs to prove that they are currently employed and ensure that their monthly income can cover the monthly rent amount.
  • Ability to pay deposits. Investors should collect a security deposit before allowing new tenants to move in. The deposit should be high enough to cover any damage that might not fall under normal wear-and-tear but not so high that it keeps out good renters. If you also require a pet deposit, make sure your potential renter can cover that amount, as well.
  • Criminal history. While it’s important not to apply a blanket policy to exclude anyone with a criminal record, it’s essential to review an applicant’s history with the law. Though someone that has been in trouble with the law is not necessarily a bad renter, it does help to know that you are not harboring someone that could cause trouble or bring criminal activity into your property.
  • Rental history. Review an applicant’s rental history to make sure they have an excellent track record of good behavior and on-time rent payments!

The best screening process helps you find reliable tenants that can pay the rent on time every month, take excellent care of your property, follow the rules, and renew their lease as long-term tenants! 

Why Follow a Screening Process?

Is it really necessary to screen tenants? Many property managers know that owners sometimes miss seeing how vital a tenant screening process is until they’ve dealt with a bad renter. Unfortunately, once a terrible resident moves into your property, it becomes a time-consuming and costly hassle to get them to catch up on past-due rent, repair property damage, or follow the rules. 

Smiling caucasian couple of attractive tenants shaking hands with landlord

A screening process helps avoid dealing with a bad tenant that’s difficult to remove from a property, but that’s not all. Rental property owners are better able to follow the Fair Housing Act when establishing a routine for tenant screenings. The Fair Housing Act keeps landlords from discriminating against potential renters based on sex, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Following this law helps you find the best renters for your properties while avoiding discrimination claims or lawsuits. 

Screening tenants helps you look at renters objectively based solely on their ability to pay for the property during their lease term.

Does Your Screening Process Need An Update?

When was the last time you reviewed your tenant screening process? A property management company recommends taking time to review and update it as necessary before you have to deal with a bad tenant. Going over each step of your screening process, paying attention to the questions on your application, and ensuring that every aspect follows the law and leads you to excellent residents helps you make more money and stay on the right side of landlord-tenant laws. 

If you’re not sure how to start reviewing your process, the best Palm Springs property management company can help you formulate an application and a series of questions that can help you find the best tenants faster!

A Palm Springs Property Management Company Screens Tenants

If it’s time to review your tenant screening process, touch base with the experts! Whether you’re starting as a rental property owner or you’ve operated rental properties for a while, a solid screening strategy can help support your long-term success. 

Working with a property manager can help you keep things up to date and ensure that you are only getting the best tenants each time that you need a new renter to fill a vacancy. If you’re having trouble finding good tenants or getting bogged down about how to handle a maintenance request, it could be time for residential property management services! Reach out to McLean Company to learn how we can help.

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