Qualifying your applicants is probably the most important part of managing a rental property. That’s why the tenant screening process is so important. If you do that right at the beginning of the management process, you’re setting yourself up for a good relationship moving forward. You’ll find that a thorough screening process is good for the tenants, good for the owners, and always good for the property manager.
Create a Thorough Tenant Picture
At Stokley Properties, we take the time to really look at the applicant. Most property managers will screen by simply looking at the credit score. The credit score is important, but it’s not always the most important thing. Take a look at the whole picture. You want to consider an applicant’s references and rental history, so talk to current and former landlords. You want to know how reliably they pay their bills, and that’s a good use of the credit report. Instead of judging the credit score, look at the credit history to see what kind of bills they have and whether there are any delinquencies. If there are, take a look at what kind of bills the applicant is slow to pay. You have to do your due diligence.
Follow Fair Housing and Other Laws
It’s critical that you always abide by the federal Fair Housing Act as well as any local and state laws that pertain to housing and the landlord tenant relationship. Your screening process must be legal and consistent. It’s important to treat every applicant the same and to follow the exact same process every time someone is interested in your property. When you do that, we feel you can select the best person for your rental property and find a good fit for everyone moving forward.
If you have any questions, or need help screening your tenants, please contact us at Stokley Properties.