There are good tenants, and then there are bad ones. There is no perfect method for screening a tenant, but there are certain factors that you should look at, which will give you a better chance of finding the right tenant for your rental property.
Understand the Legal Procedures
The landlords must treat all the prospective tenants the same way. Some laws are designed to prevent discrimination against specific classes of people in any activity related to housing. It means you should not discriminate on the grounds of race or color, national origin, sex, and disability. Most states have their housing rules that you must follow. It makes sense to adhere to the local laws and sign a rental lease agreement based on it.
Tenant with Good Credit
Everyone wants to look for a tenant who is financially responsible. If they are trustworthy with paying their bills, there is also a reliable choice that they pay their rent on time and are accountable for your apartment. While getting a credit check has a fee, and some landlords ask their applicants to pay the credit check fee as well. It is a two-step process:
First Verify the Income
You will want a tenant whose monthly income is at least three times the monthly rent. You can ask for copies of their paid bills. In some cases, you can talk to their employers too.
Then Check the Credit History
Is the tenant has been paying his bills on time? You need to check their income to debt ratio. Even if their income is multiple times the rent, you need to consider how much rent do they have.
Find About Criminal Background
You can also run this check to ensure that there are no serious and minor offenses under his or her name. It would help if you had the tenant’s name and date of birth to check these details. However, be cautious about a few things.
There are certain states which prohibit the landlord from discriminating against the renters with a particular criminal conviction. While rejecting a prospective tenant with drug or violent crime conviction may be justified, but those with speeding tickets don’t.
There is no public data, so performing this check may be difficult. Doing it on your own, can be time-consuming, but you can consider hiring a reputable tenant screening company to do it for you. It can be combined with a credit check for an additional fee.
Tenant’s Rental History
If possible, you should talk to at-least to the previous landlords. It is because if the applicant was a problematic tenant, the existing landlord may want to get the tenant out of his property and may not give the right information. Here are some questions that you may ask.
• Have tenant paid the rent on time?
• Why is he moving out? Was the tenant evicted for the non-payment of rent or some other reason?
• Did the tenant give the required 30-day notice before moving out?
• How did they keep their apartment? Was it clean?
• Had they caused damage to the apartment other than normal wear and tear?
If the renter is a first-time renter, a student, or a recent graduate, they may not have a rental history. If that’s the case, you would require a co-signer for the lease.
Choose a Stable Tenant
You will surely not want to change the tenants frequently. It is better to take your time and find a stable tenant and will maintain your property well.
Most legal forms sites offer rental agreement form with free sign-up. Make the best of them to complete the various formalities.