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5 Critical Things to Look For in Tenant Screening Processes

5 Critical Things to Look For in Tenant Screening Processes

Renters make up around 35.2% of households in Oregon. People who rent apartments often move to nicer or more affordable units when their leases end.

As a rental property owner, you might receive numerous applications for your available units, especially if you offer clean, safe properties. However, you're responsible for screening these applicants.

What should you look for during a tenant screening? You'll need to learn if you're new to screening tenants. 

Here is a guide to help you learn about the top five things to look for when screening applicants.

1. Credit

A person's credit record reveals several vital details about their creditworthiness. First, it tells if they pay their bills on time. Secondly, it tells you how well they manage their money and credit lines.

Therefore, you should always check a person's credit when performing tenant screening services. You might even want to set a standard you use for selecting tenants. 

For example, you might decide to require a score of 620 or higher. But, of course, you can choose a different number if you wish.

2. Criminal History

Learning about a person's criminal record reveals safety issues. For example, if you choose people with criminal histories, you might have safety issues at your properties. 

You can ask applicants if they have any felonies or misdemeanors as one of the tenant screening questions on your application.

Applicants must answer this question honestly, but you can check by running a criminal history report.

3. Previous Rental History

You can also check a person's eviction history to determine if they've ever been evicted. Landlords only evict tenants when tenants fail to pay their rent or cause problems in their units.

You might want to think twice about renting to someone who went through an eviction. If they have an eviction in the past, they might have a higher chance of being evicted in the future. 

4. Job and Income

When you rent an apartment to a person, they agree to pay rent monthly. But, people can't pay their rent if they don't have a job, money, or income. So, checking their job and income is vital.

You can learn if the person has the means to afford the unit by evaluating these things. 

5. Previous Addresses

You might also want to ask questions to verify the tenant's identity, including asking for their previous addresses. 

For example, you can ask a tenant for a list of all their previous addresses from the last five or ten years. This information helps you determine if they move a lot or stay in the same place for long periods.

If you have trouble handling these steps, you might consider outsourcing the tenant screening process. 

Check These Things During a Tenant Screening

These are five helpful things to check when performing a tenant screening. As a landlord, you can develop thorough tenant screening procedures for each application. 

You can also hire us to assist with your tenant screenings. Contact us at Kerr Properties, Inc. in Portland to learn more about our property management services.