“Screening” Potential Tenants for Home Rentals
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Should I “Screen” All Potential Tenants for My Home Rentals?
Whether you are a landlord with multiple home rentals or a home owner who has decided to rent his/her property because of market, employment, or personal conditions, you should consider "screening” (qualifying) every potential tenant who's interested in renting your property.
Why? While you'd love to completely trust in the statements and representations of the people who may be interested in renting your property, prudence dictates that you should be careful to whom you rent your property. Screening your potential renters will help protect both your asset (your home) and your monthly income (the rent).
Screening or qualifying your potential tenant simply involves getting verification of the statements and representations they've made to you. Screening can include the following actions.
- Getting a credit report. Do they pay their obligations on time and as agreed? Was there a problem that is now resolved? Are they having a current problem?
- Do they work for the company they've indicated they do? Do they earn sufficient regular income to pay the rent? Ask for verification.
- Does a background check indicate they are upstanding citizens? Or have they had a problem in the past that might affect their ability or desire to pay their rent on time? Does anything indicate they may not maintain your house rental as you would like?
Most potential tenants, particularly the ones you'd most like to rent your property, will have no problem providing verification of the statements they've made to you. Even those that might be a bit “difficult” will deliver independent verification of their willingness and ability to pay the rent as agreed, should you ask. And you should. You'll sleep better and your bank account will be happy.