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4 Tips to Improve Your Tenant Screening Process

PMI Blue Ridge - Wednesday, October 7, 2020

How do you choose the tenants for your rental properties? Having a solid screening process helps you pick desirable tenants who will pay their rent and care for your property. By improving your tenant screening process, you can ensure your rental property investment is a financial success. 

This guide will give you four actionable ways you can improve your screening process.  

1. Verify the Application Information  

Never blindly trust the information applicants include on their tenant applications. Unfortunately, just like their resume, people inflate or omit information from their applications. Bad tenants are even more likely to falsely information because they know you’d turn them down if they were truthful about their undesirable renting history. 

There are a few key points to cross-check when reviewing an application: 

  • Income and employment 

  • Rental history 

  • Credit score and report 

  • Background and criminal check

2. Screen Applications Before Meeting 

It takes time and energy to meet with potential applicants and show them your available rental. By reducing this time, you improve the process for yourself. Start by creating a detailed and descriptive ad. Use professional pictures and descriptive language that appeals to the type of tenant you’re looking to attract. This will encourage unqualified applicants to pass and encourage qualified prospects to apply. 

Once someone has applied, spend time screening their application and give them a call. You can get a feel for the person, a better idea of their income, and the ability to comply with your property rules. This saves you time and improves your ability to find someone qualified and serious about renting.  

3. Screen the Occupants 

If you’re renting a home, then chances are more than one person will be living in it. This means you need to fully understand who will be moving into your property when you approve a qualified applicant. 

For some, this means their spouse and children will move in. For others, it means multiple adults will move in together and become roommates. While you can’t discriminate, you can require that all adult tenants be screened and qualified. This reduces the risk of a bad tenant sneaking in as an occupant for a qualified applicant. 

At some point, the unqualified tenant could be the only person living in the home. Screening all applicants also allows you to obtain the contact information of everyone living in the home. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you have no way of contacting the one person left living in your home. 

4. Practice Consistency 

Standardizing the tenant screening process does two things; it streamlines the process and protects you. When you have an established process in place, it helps you move through the screening process faster and easier. It also ensures that a bad tenant doesn’t slip through because you missed a step in the screening process. 

Having a consistent and standardized process protects you from possible discrimination lawsuits. When you treat applicants differently, you open yourself up to this possibility. 

Having a system reduces the risk of your personal opinions or bias influencing your opinion. The “perfect tenant” in his business suit with all the right answers may be swimming in debt and unable to pay. 

Have Help Improving Your Tenant Screening Process 

One of the easiest ways you can improve your screening process is to let a professional property manager handle it for you. They manage several properties and screen many more applicants. This gives them more experience and knowledge of proper procedures and applicable laws. Here at PMI Blue Ridge, we can help you consistently screen applicants and select a qualified tenant for your rental property. 

Reach out to our team today, and let’s chat about how we can help you improve your tenant screening process.  


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