Finding a good tenant is one of the most stressful things for property owners. Screening applicants for a rental property is vital to finding the person that can become a great candidate. When you have a good tenant, you can relax and rest knowing that you have a property that will continue to pay for itself, and the person is respecting the property. A good rental application is the best way to get started on the tenant screening process. Use these tips from Keyrenter Property Management Merrimack Valley, MA, to learn how to property screen applicants for a rental property:
Request an application. A rental application provides information the potential tenant and if they will be able to pass a background check. The background check needs to be upfront about credit history and requirements along with another clause about criminal history reports. Gathering this information at the initial application can screen out some of the people that do not meet these qualifications. Some of the things to review on the application include:

– Employment history
– Current income level
– Bank account information
– Professional and personal References
– Pets, smoking, or lifestyle information that is concerning
– Credit history. Review the credit history to see if the tenant has a history of late payments, collections, and other concerning elements. The credit report will also show the current debt load of the prospective tenant.
– Background check. A background check will offer information about the tenant including things like criminal records, public records, and evictions.
– Call previous landlords. The tenant screening process involves finding out more about the tenant and how they have behaved for other landlords. You can ask the previous landlord about their ability to pay rent on time, and if they have any outstanding debt.
– Employment verification. Landlords need to review the employment of the applicant to make sure it is a reliable income source. Contact the employer directly to verify the income based on the paystub.
– Interview potential tenants. The tenant screening process needs to involve interviewing the potential tenants. A simple phone interview can provide some basic information, but the in-person interview can help landlords to get a better feeling for the tenants and if they will meet the criteria.

Landlords need to screen potential tenants to ensure they are meeting the criteria and will be a good tenant for years to come. Failure to have an effective tenant screening and application process in place can lead to serious risks. Dealing with tenant evictions are challenging, and not all property managers are prepared to deal with these issues.

Hiring a property management company is one of the best ways to find quality rental candidates. Keyrenter provides residential property management services to landlords of single family homes, duplexes, condos, and small multifamily units. We are not large apartment managers. Our purpose is to help landlords maximize the return on their investment property while eliminating the stressors associated with being a landlord (including bad tenants and maintenance issues). Services we offer include: property analysis, setting rent, tenant placement, leasing services, maintenance coordination, tenant relations, property inspections, rent collection.  We offer superior customer service. Because we know how to find quality tenants that can meet the terms of their lease agreement, using Keyrenter’s 14-point tenant screening process, our eviction rate is below 1%.