It’s difficult to tell whether an applicant is as reliable as they seem. Oftentimes, their stories are just too good to be true. In order to find quality tenants and be assured that they are who they say they are, you must conduct thorough tenant screening.
A rigorous screening process should include :
- A credit check
- An eviction check
- A criminal history check
- Bonus: 3 references
This may seem like a lot of work to put in for just one applicant, but we promise it’s worth it. Plus, landlords can enlist the help of property management software, which will do the hard work of tenant screening for you.
There are dozens of reasons why screening tenants is a good idea. Below, we take a deeper look at 5 benefits of tenant screening. If you aren’t already screening tenants, you will be now.
Avoid Low-Quality Tenants
Unfortunately, not all bad tenants can be evicted. Even though a tenant might pay late, be disruptive, and be careless with your property, they may not do it to the degree that warrants eviction. In this case, you’re stuck with them until their lease runs out — which could be months.
If you screen applicants in the beginning, however, you’re more likely to weed out tenants such as these from the start. It might cost a little more up front to screen all of your applicants, but it’ll save you time, money, and a headache in the future.
Find High-Quality Tenants
The flip side of avoiding bad tenants is finding good ones. Having a tenant that pays rent on time every month, doesn’t disturb their neighbors, and rarely has maintenance requests or other needs is invaluable. Landlords who’ve had tenants like this before know how much time and money they save in the long run. The best way, and perhaps the only way, to find tenants of this caliber is through tenant screening.
Legally Deny Prospective Tenants
Due to Fair Housing laws, you can really only legally deny an applicant if you can prove that you screened them and were justified in your denial. This essentially leaves you to fill your units with a “first come, first served” policy, which you definitely want to avoid.
When you do screen your applicants, however, you’re able to deny deserving parties. This grants you the freedom to choose tenants that meet your standards. The ability to fill your units with tenants you know will abide by their lease agreements is not a privilege you can afford to overlook.
No landlord wants to go through the eviction process. It’s costly, time consuming, and a massive headache. Screening tenants allows you to lease to renters that you know will work well for your business. You’ll have the assurance that tenants will pay on time, respect your property, and follow the terms of their leases. This means little to no evictions in your future.
Minimize Tenant Turnover
Whenever a tenant leaves, you’re left with the costly process of filling your vacancy. To do so, you must clean the unit, make costly repairs to make it presentable again, advertise the vacancy, screen prospective tenants, and more.
Having reliable tenants that are willing to sign longer leases or renew their lease when the time comes means less vacancies and lower turnover. In order to find such tenants, you must screen applicants thoroughly. Quality tenants that won’t move on quickly are worth the effort.
Implement Tenant Screening into your Application Process
These are just 5 of the benefits that come from screening tenants before they sign a lease. We could keep going, and you can undoubtedly fill in some of your own advantages too. The bottom line is that when you choose to screen applicants, you can rest assured that the person living in your unit meets the standards that you expect from a tenant. That ease of mind is worth the extra effort.