If you are a home owner or investment banker that rents out your property to tenants, you most likely make your renter decisions based on a standard credit report. Yes, a credit report is a great way to get an understanding of a potential tenant’s financial situation, but it should be understood that in the property management world, money does not always make a great tenant.
As a property manager, you should take some extra steps when screening your potential tenants. HUNTAHOME has these 5 top tips for looking at a person beyond their credit score.
As a Property Manager, Create Specific Standards for Tenants
The process of running a tenant screening report should start before you even start accepting applications. As a property manager in Dallas you need to ensure that you set some specific standards for the types of tenants that you want in your property.
Some standards could include:
• Tenant income that is 2 or 3 times the monthly rent
• Good landlord references
• No criminal history.
Sure, a credit report can paint a pretty financial picture, but good character comes from actual experience.
Get Employment Verification
Every month you are going to expect your tenants to pay you rent. How is money made? Through employment, of course.
Take the time to speak to a supervisor or HR manager of the company that a potential tenant puts down as employer on their application. Have a list of questions that include how long the individual has been employed at the company, if they are in a full or part time position, etc.
If the tenant is self-employed ask for the tax returns from the last two years to show if they have a consistent work history.
Pre-Screen and In-Person Screen Tenants
When running your advertisements, make sure that it is detailed. This way applicants can know if they want to live in your area and what your expectations are as a landlord. Also keep these qualifications in mind during the first phone call that you have with the hopeful renter. On the phone we recommend that you try to see how serious the applicant is about renting your property.
Being a property manager also means that you will be having to meet with tenants to conduct an in-person screening. A good property manager knows that they can often judge if a candidate is a good fit for their property within a minute of the meeting. Remember to restate the requirements you have for the rental and have the application prepared if you think the individual or family is what you are looking for in a tenant.
Social Media Tenant Screening
This one is an easy screening method. After the potential tenant fills out an application, look up their social media accounts. Social media is a matter of public record. If you see pictures or posts that point to red flags like drug use or other destructive behavior, you know that this is not the tenant for you.
Don’t Overstep Your Boundaries
A property management group will be able to help you understand the laws that you are bound by in your area. A property manager understands the protected classes of an area and knows not to ask questions about sensitive topics like gender identity. If you are new to this process of searching for tenants, be sure to get in touch with a property management company that can help you take control of the process.
HUNTAHOME Digs Deeper Than Credit
If you are a Dallas property owner and don’t want to get into the tedious process of extensive tenant screening services, HUNTAHOME is a property management group that can help you today. Give us a call and find out about our many property management services and how we make property renting a walk in the park for owners.