Have you ever wondered how tenant screening works? It's an important function of property management companies and one that is super important to your property rental success.
There are all kinds of reasons to screen tenants, the number one being safety and security. But it's also important to rent to people who have good reputations for reliability and a track record of being good neighbors.
Here's how a property manager can help you find the best tenants for your housing rentals.
What Do Tenant Screening Services Include?
Tenant screening services are the backbone of every tenant reference checking process. At a minimum, they usually include checking with former landlords and getting credit history and employment verification.
A tenant screening report may also include references from former roommates, neighbors, and a sex offender check. You will have to let the prospective renter know that you're going to do a background check, and get their permission to proceed.
Legal Requirements for Tenant Screening
One thing to keep in mind is that you cannot discriminate illegally against any protected class. You have to follow the Fair Housing Act, plus any local laws in your area. It's also important that the information you use is sourced legally.
Online tenant screening is a convenient way to search your prospective tenant's background, but you should be careful. There are a ton of sketchy sites to be aware of. Be sure to use a legitimate site with a professional reputation.
The best tenant screening services use legal searches to check out new tenants. Most property managers have training in the do's and don'ts of landlord-tenant screening. So hiring them is a good way to follow all the legal requirements and avoid getting in trouble.
Why You Need Tenant Screening For Your Rental Properties
The information you discover from a tenant background check will help you know who to rent to, who to refuse, and who to rent to with certain conditions. Clearly, it's important to not allow someone dangerous onto your property, especially if you have children or elderly residents on site.
On the other hand, you don't want to assume the worst without clear evidence to back it up. For example, if someone's credit is less than ideal, it is still advisable to rent to them unless they have a pronounced history of being a very bad renter- multiple evictions, repossessions, bad neighbor references, etc.
Remember that some people wind up with bad credit because of medical catastrophes and things beyond their control. Like being co-signed with someone who was irresponsible.
The same kind of consideration matters when it comes to criminal records. Not everybody with a record is an ax murderer, and people can make good of second chances. You should go by all the facts, and only make decisions on a case-by-case basis.
A good tenant screening process will help you determine how to make the best decisions and protect yourself and your company from common liabilities.
Hire the Best Property Managers to Do Your Tenant Screening
It's clear that tenant screening is an important aspect of owning rental property. It's important to know you you're renting to, so you can avoid liability issues and ensure everyone's safety.
Hiring a property management team to handle this and other aspects of property management will give you peace of mind. They know the rules and what they should do and not do.
If you would like to learn more about how a property management company can help you manage your rentals, get in touch with us. We work in the Oklahoma City area and can help you manage all your rentals with efficiency and professionalism.
We'd love to speak with you to learn more about your goals and how we can help you succeed. Contact us today!