When you’re looking through applicants for prospective tenants for your properties, it can be difficult to determine who would be the best match for your rental unit. Applicants who seem ideal on paper might actually be unsuitable for your property, so it’s important to ask several important questions above and beyond the basics. When in doubt, it may be advisable to have potential tenants fill out additional paperwork, like rental verification forms, in order to get a little more insight into their history.
However you decide to handle your application process, make sure your prospective tenants are open to additional questions either in person or over the phone. A major point to consider is whether or not a tenant can abide by your stated rules and regulations. Verify whether or not the person has pets and make sure they verbally acknowledge that they’re aware of your policies regarding guests, subletting, undisclosed tenants, or other stipulations.
Another important question is whether they have the funds to pay both the first month’s rent and the security deposit. A qualified tenant should be able to pay these fees upon signing the lease. If they put you off or state they can’t get the money right away, consider it a warning sign that they may not be reliable about paying rent on time.
In the same vein, you should make sure the tenant is open to a background and credit check. Not only will this check reveal to you whether your prospective tenant has a history of nonpayment or bad credit, but their resistance to agreeing to the check will speak volumes, as well.
Asking when an applicant needs to move and why they’re moving can also be very revealing. It can tell you whether they’re just on the hunt but not ready to move in right away, or if they’re leaving their current residence on bad terms. If you’re looking to fill a unit quickly with a qualified tenant who won’t cause you any trouble, these are good things to know. If their excuse for moving in quickly seems suspect, contact their previous landlord with questions.
We recommend background and credit checks as standard for any property manager or landlord who wants to make sure they’re selecting the best tenants for their units. For more information contact us here at Tenant Screening Center!
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