“How To Use Tenant Screening Services For Your Properties” written by Mike Marko
Have you ever heard of tenant screening services?
Landlords and property managers are using these services to help ensure they pick the best tenants for their rental properties. Choosing the wrong tenant can cost you aggravation and money.
That’s why I want to take the time to tell you about how to pick and use tenant screening services for your rental properties.
Learning More About Tenant Screening Services
As a property manager, it is your responsibility to your investors and property owners to choose the right tenants for the properties you manage. The types of tenants you would look to rent property to are ones who pay rent on time, cause little or no problems and are nice and easy to work with when a problem does arise at the property they are renting.
Tenant screening services are the process you will have to go through to help you decide what tenants are qualified best to rent your properties too. It would be best to familiarize yourself with this process.
To get started let’s first find out what tenant screening.
What Is Tenant Screening?
When you are renting a property you commonly will receive multiple applications for that property. To sort and decide what tenant you want to rent the property to you must go through a process called tenant screening process.
Tenant screening process is a way to screen your prospective tenants by doing background checks, employment checks, credit reports, and other types of personal reference checks to sort and identify the tenant you want to rent your property to. A good tenant screening report will compile all relevant and important information on tenants that can help you determine if they may be a good tenant for your property.
Every experienced and successful property manager will not allow just any tenant to rent their property without undergoing a tenant screening process.
Is It Fake?
The information is provided by the individual wanting to rent the property in a rental application can be easily faked. By developing a tenant screening process you will be able to identify fraud on a tenant’s application and also help to identify the best tenants to rent your property.
If you don’t do a thorough tenant screening process you could be allowing unverified tenants inside the rental property. These tenants may cause problems or not pay rents that could pose a lot of problems.
Identifying the Good
Many property managers and landlords are using tenant screening services to help them determine if the tenant can follow the terms of their lease or rental agreement, pay rents on time, and be a good tenant to rent the property.
Attracting more tenants applying to rent your properties is a sign that your business is doing great but it also comes with a risk. You’ll never know who those people are and what are their intentions unless you verify them and conduct a tenant screening on them.
Importance Of Tenant Screening Services And Their Reports
Tenant screening and the reports generated by investigating the people applying to rent the property is key to finding the best most qualified renters. The information in a rental application can be faked easily. Since it is completed by the person applying for the rental, there is no proof that the prospective tenant is saying the truth or not. Experienced property managers are aware of this and that’s why they are using tenant screening services.
More Accurate Information
Tenant screening services can give you correct information about the prospective tenant. Most agencies or companies that are offering tenant screening services are getting information about the tenant from their reliable sources only. You can assure that all of the reports that they will provide are accurate.
Predict Future Behavior
The background and credit report of the prospective tenant can help you determine if they are capable of being a good tenant and able to pay their bills or rent on time. The reports provided by tenant screening services can minimize the risk of facing eviction of tenants, bad behaviors of tenants, and other conflicts in the future.
Keep Screening Consistent
Aside from giving useful and accurate reports, tenant screening services can also help you in handling tenants who are accusing you of discrimination. Tenant screening services will help you objectify your reasons for denying applicants rentals and help to make your screening process clear and honest.
Save You Time
Tenant screening services can also help you avoid the long and tiring process of verifying the information of the prospective tenant manually. Unlike the traditional way of screening tenants, tenant screening services can help you save time and money. It can help you evaluate a rental application more quickly since most companies have data from credit bureaus, police agencies, and other government reporting agencies.
Qualities To Look For In A Tenant
When renting a property you are looking for the most qualified or best renter for your property. What does that really mean and how can you achieve that goal?
The best and most qualified tenants are those who pay rents on time, cause no problems when renting your property and do not engage in criminal activities while renting the property. You may also want to add to this list with your own requirements but in general, these are the types of tenants you should be looking to rent your properties.
As a property manager, you should be aware of the important qualities that your tenants should have.
Here are some of the qualities that you should consider when it comes to your tenants:
First of all, your tenants should show in tenant reports, credit reports and other types of background checks to have responsibility for their actions. During the tenancy, you entrust your property that they are renting to your tenants.
Your property is in their hands so you must ensure that the tenants that you are choosing are responsible enough to take care of your property. Regular cleaning, reporting problems in a timely manner, and generally keeping the property in good condition is preferred when looking for the most qualified tenants.
The rented property must be kept in good condition during a tenant’s stay. So when a new tenant comes in and rented the property, it will be suitable to live in.
Respect Property Managers
Another personal quality for a tenant is that they should be respectful or show respect during the rental process. If your tenant doesn’t respect you when you get to know them during the rental process then you would most likely expect a lot of problems with them in the future. Avoiding tenants that show little or no respect is key to finding the best tenant for your properties. If the tenant does not respect you they could attempt to take advantage of you by not paying their bills on time or destroying your property. A disrespectful tenant would not only affect you but they can also annoy their fellow tenants. An annoying neighbor can cause your good paying and respectful tenants to move out of your property.
Capable of Paying The Rent On Time
Another key quality for your most qualified tenants is their ability to be able to pay their monthly rent regularly and on time. Usually, the right tenants are financially stable and someone who has a stable job or source of income. In some cases, property managers only choose tenant that are earning more than the monthly rent. Ideally, it is important to find tenants that show their income or salary is at least double the amount of the monthly rent they will be required to pay.
Good Credit History
Another key quality to look for in a qualified tenant is for them to have good credit scores. Their credit score represents historically how they pay their bills and other loans and financial responsibilities. Commonly tenants with a good credit score can pay their bills on time and they are not having any financial struggles.
Obey The Laws
One of the last requirements we could suggest for finding a qualified tenant is someone who does not have a criminal past or is involved in criminal activities. It is always important to find tenants who follow the law and don’t engage in criminal activity. It is impossible to predict if a tenant is a criminal, but you can lessen your risk by choosing the tenants who are honest and have stated their aversion to crime, drugs, and other illegal activities in interviews and discussions you’ve had with them.
As much as possible, keep your property away from crime and other illegal activities. Keep in mind that as the property manager, it’s your responsibility to take care of your property and the tenants inside it.
Best Tenant Screening Services
As a property manager, you have numerous ways of doing the tenant screening process. You can conduct online screening services, credit reports, background check reports etc. to find out more about the people want to rent your property. In order to filter the right tenants from the bad ones, most property managers are using tenant screening services that combine a number of screening options to find the best-qualified tenants.
Usually, during a tenant screening process, various information about the applying tenant’s background will be disclosed. Basic personal information such as name, previous and current addresses, and contact information are always present in the tenant screening report.
Aside from the basic information, public records, criminal charges, eviction records, credit history, and the activity of the potential tenant will be checked.
A tenant screening services check the background and credit of a tenant. This process is done by various organization and companies. Most of them can be found on the internet.
Here are the most preferred agencies that offer tenant screening services:
Credit Bureau Associates Northeast (no website, 978-682-2199)
ClearScreening – a full-service credit and criminal reporting agency committed to bringing timely, accurate, and affordable reports to its clients.
ClearScreening SmartScreen – a new streamlined approach to tenant screening that allows ANY landlord, property manager, or leasing agent to access credit and criminal background data on prospective tenants.
Cozy – the first complete modern service for independent landlords and renters. Its mission is to make the renting process simple, secure and intuitive.
Equifax – a global information solutions company that uses trusted unique data, innovative analytics, technology, and industry expertise to power organizations and individuals around the world by transforming knowledge into insights that help make more informed business and personal decisions
National Tenant Network – provides comprehensive residential tenant screening services to landlords, property managers, and leasing agents, along with numerous educational resources, tools, tips, and updates.
TenantAlert can give access to full tenant screening reports with minimal data entry, and also gives access to criminal, eviction, sex offender, TeleCheck, and many other reports.
TransUnion MySmartMove With this site, a landlord or property manager can run a tenant credit check and a criminal background check online in minutes
MyRental Premium – an online tenant screening service designed for independent rental owners to facilitate informed and confident leasing decisions. It also offers a wide variety of background reports and services to help identify quality tenants who are more likely to pay the rent on time each month, protect the property, and stay for longer periods of time.
Zumper – provides the fastest screening tool available for landlords and real estate agents. It also provides an Experian credit report along with a nationwide eviction and criminal check.
Top1Score – provides prescreening services at a very reasonable price to help ensure you don’t waste time and money with unqualified applicants.
The cost of their services ranges from $10.00 to $30.00. The base price of the Credit Bureau Associate Northeast is around $30.00 while the least expensive tenant screening services are offered by Equifax. However, you can’t get a full report if you choose tenant screening services by Equifax.
According to masslandlords.net, the best choice for startup rental property business or small-time property managers is the tenant screening services by Zumper. Their tenant screening services are offered for just $25.00 and it includes a full credit report and a criminal record.
You can charge the applying tenant for the amount of money you spend in conducting a tenant screening on them.
Final Thoughts About Tenant Screening Services
In this article, we talked about tenant screening services. We talked about what are tenant screening services, how to pick tenant screening services, and how to properly use tenant screening services to help ensure you pick the best tenant for your rental property.
Don’t hesitate about starting to use tenant screen services for your rental properties. By selecting the best tenants for your rental properties, your business will be more successful and profitable.
Be sure to comment below with any thoughts, ideas, or questions you may have.
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