Are you aware that there are more than 20 million rental properties across America?
Owning a rental property can allow you to generate a huge income, but there are many expenses that you need to be mindful of in order to minimize them. Finding high-quality renters will ensure that you don't spend a fortune on vacancies, property damage, and more.
If you're nervous about signing a lease with the wrong person, then you need to be diligent about screening potential tenants. Read on to learn about the most common tenant screening mistakes so you can avoid this stress.
1. Not Doing Background Checks for Tenants
People who have a criminal history not only have a higher chance of not being able to pay their rent, but they could also commit crimes in the safe community that you're trying to build. It's essential to run thorough background checks on applicants to protect your business.
2. Not Asking Helpful Tenant Interview Questions
You can learn a lot by having a simple chat with your applicants. You can ask about topics like why they're moving, if they smoke, if they have pets, what they do for work, and more. The answers to these questions will allow you to determine if they'd be a good fit for your unit.
3. Not Looking at Credit Reports for Tenants
One step you can't afford to miss is looking at the applicant's credit report. Their credit score is an indication of whether or not they're responsible for their money. A low credit score could spell trouble whenever you need to collect rent.
4. Not Asking for Proof of Income
Your rental application form needs to have a section about the applicant's employment history and proof of income. This will give you peace of mind that they're earning enough to cover the cost of the rent. If they can't provide valid documents, then you should steer clear.
5. Not Contacting Their References
Asking your applicants for some references makes it easier to gauge their character. From employers to past landlords and more, you can get confirmation from a third party that your application is a reliable person.
6. Rushing Through the Tenant Screening Process
Doing all of these steps takes time, but you can't rush through the process. If you end up approving someone who won't be a courteous tenant, then you'll spend even more time and resources trying to resolve the problem. If you want to make tenant screening as simple as possible, you can count on a property management company to do the job for you.
You Can't Make These Common Tenant Screening Mistakes
Tenant screening may seem tedious, but it's a crucial task that will protect your investment. Now that you know which common tenant screening mistakes to avoid, you'll be able to find good tenants.
Are you interested in property management services in the California Bay Area? Contact us to learn about all of the different ways that we can help.