Posted: October 27, 2021
A tenant's most important qualities are that they pay their rent on time and take good care of your property. Ideally, you want a tenant who will also be organized, responsible, and communicate any problems or issues.
This is all well and good, but how do you find this kind of tenant? While no one can say exactly how a potential tenant will behave in the future, you can look at their history and current situation to indicate the kind of renter they will be.
Let's be honest: eviction is expensive. And it is a time-consuming process. Aside from the problems and costs associated with sudden turnover, there are costs in the eviction process itself. Even short of eviction, a bad tenant can cost you in other ways, such as property damage. Spending the time and money upfront to find the right tenant will pay off in the long run.
One of the best ways to screen a rental applicant is to look at their eviction history. Eviction history tells you whether a tenant has been problematic in the past—which gives a good indication of how they might behave in the future. You can find renter eviction history through an eviction report.
Doing a credit check is another way to screen a potential tenant. A credit report shows you how a person behaves with money. If the tenant's credit report indicates that they have a history of late payments, you should be cautious about renting to them due to the risk of late rent payments.
It is also essential to ensure that tenants have the resources to pay rent or verifiable income. It's a big red flag if there is no source of income or evidence of finances available to afford the rent cost. Steady income can be harder to determine for self-employed applicants, but this should not disqualify an applicant on its own (read more about this here).
Finding a good tenant can take time. However, doing your due diligence, in the beginning, can save you cost and hassle down the line. Basic tenant screening is a worthwhile process. Applicant screening not only helps you avoid evictions but also protects the condition of your property and could prevent other lease violations.