How to Conduct Renter Screening for Your Property

How to Conduct Renter Screening for Your Property

According to the Federal Trade Commission, a landlord must conduct a renter screening and consumer report background check before renting an apartment or building.

That is because you want to ensure that you are renting to a good tenant and not someone who will destroy the place or not pay rent on time. But the problem is, you can take people for their word.

They may seem like they'd make a great tenant, but how can you be sure? A renter screening would give you the peace of mind you deserve as a landlord.

You might wonder what goes into a screening and background check. If you want to know all of the essentials to add to your screening, keep reading our informative guide. 

Avoid Discrimination With A Script 

The Fair Housing Act protects individuals from discrimination. That means you cannot deny someone an apartment or house due to their ethnicity, age, or anything else.

To be safe, you should construct a script of questions to ask your potential tenants when they first inquire about the space. Many people don't realize it, but asking questions on the spot can sometimes lead to accidental discrimination.

For instance, asking someone their age and then saying the home is better suited for younger people would be a problem. To avoid this, make a list of questions and a script.

Be sure not to deviate away from it and ask things unprepared. If you need help with universal requirements to add to your lease, check out this page to find out more about owner resources

Meet The Tenant(s)

The next step to take is to meet with the tenants. Doing this is just as crucial as running background checks. That is because you get to assess if there are any red flags.

Take notice of things like: 

  • Are they covered in pet hair? 
  • Do they wipe their feet when entering your office/rental space
  • Are their cars clean or messy?

You should also note whether they smoke. That smell is difficult to get out of the walls. So, if you notice the presence of cigarettes, consider that before renting out your space. 

Review Applications

After they fill out the applications, carefully read over them. Look at how many pets they have, how many people are on the lease, and their references. You also want to call those references to ensure the applicant isn't lying. 

Run a Background Check

Now, you want to run a background check. When you do this, it will pull up whether the tenants have any past criminal history like sex offenses, felonies, or even evictions. 

Run a Credit Report

After the background check, run a credit check. The three main credit bureaus to look at are Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.

Choose one (or all) of these to see the tenant's credit score. Never take a person's word when it comes to their credit.

Some people think renters will not check and that they can get away with lying. The report will tell you the truth about whether they have high or low credit. 

More On Renter Screening 

A renter screening ensures that you rent your space out to someone trustworthy and reliable. You can see their credit history, whether they paid on time, and how well they kept their last few places.

We hope this article helps you assess what to add when you interview renters. And, if you need any help with property investments, Avalon Reality and Oaktree management are here to help. Please, feel free to contact us today with all of your questions and concerns.

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