Finding (and keeping) good quality tenants can be the lifeblood of any rental property business. So, when the time comes to fill a vacancy, it is essential that you choose the prospective tenant(s) that are likely to pay their rent on time and keep your investment in good shape without causing too much wear and tear. So how exactly do you screen applicants in order to narrow down the best possible candidates? There are three things that you absolutely must do before you hand over the keys. These include:
1) Checking the applicant’s credit and income.
One of the first things you need to do is run a credit check. This will let you know whether or not they have a good (or bad) history of paying their bills on time. You should also verify their income, and check this against the amount of debt that they have.
Even an applicant who makes a nice monthly income could be a risk if he or she has a substantial amount of debt to pay – which in turn, could make it difficult for them to pay their rent.
2) Checking past rental history.
It is also a good idea to check the individual’s past rental history. Ideally you should talk with at least two of his or her past landlords and ask if the individual paid their rent on time, and if they kept the unit in good condition.
3) Running a criminal background check.
Running a criminal background check is also a good idea. Because criminal information is a matter of public record, it can easily be accessed. A good, thorough check should ideally include a Federal court record search, as well as a state and county record search. Checking the sexual offender database is also recommended.
Finding and screening tenants can save you a great deal of money and frustration. It can, however, also be somewhat time consuming. But by delegating these tasks to a property manager, you can free up your time for other things. For more information on working with a property manager in Orlando or the surrounding Central Florida area, contact us.