Developing a process for tenant screening is vital to the success of any rental agreement. It keeps you from the headaches, hassles, and true costs of eviction. It keeps potential renters from agreements they cannot keep.
In the following article, we show you what you need to know to simplify this process and get it working for you. Let's begin!
Understand the Purpose
A tenant screening process should have the underlying purpose of weeding out unqualified tenants and protecting the landlord, property manager, or property owner. Tenants who cannot meet certain living standards are setting themselves and their landlords up for financial distress.
Landlords, on the other hand, have to be on their guard against claims of discrimination or unfair practices. Last but not least, a standardized screening process will give you guidelines you can use to make the process of "onboarding" tenants easier going forward.
Use Fair Housing Laws
The United States enacted the Civil Rights Act in 1968. A core piece of that legislation dealt with Fair Housing. The law dictates that you cannot discriminate based on race, color, national origin, disability, religion, sex, or familial status.
When putting together your process and looking for tenant screening tips, use the FHA as a guideline. This will protect you from claims of discrimination and potential fines and penalties.
Protect Your Reputation
Following established rental application tips when developing a screening process can also help you avoid public relations nightmares. For starters, it ensures a better class of tenants. Secondly, it covers you from unfair accusations if you encounter a tenant with an ax to grind and a social media account to grind it on.
Give Tenants Peace of Mind
Tenants want a safe and stable place to live. In fact, they want it as much as you'd like to avoid having trouble tenants. Most will appreciate that you have a rental application process in the first place.
Once you have a process in place, it's time to learn how to evaluate a rental application. Spotting red flags and warning signs from the outset will save you and the rest of your tenants from aggravation.
Know What to Expect
Going further with how to screen tenants, there is a simple formula that you can use to ensure your properties meet your tenants' needs and vice versa. It is the CCEI formula, which can be broken down into the following:
- Credit score
- Criminal background check
- Eviction history
- Income suitability
All these factors can be used to allow or disallow an applicant. More importantly, they protect everyone involved from issues before they happen and save you time and money by helping to avoid the eviction process.
Proper Tenant Screening Will Set You Up for Success
The tenant screening process is about watching out for your property, your existing tenants, and even the reputation and happiness of the applicant. Not every property is the right property, and a competent screening process will keep conflicts from happening.
Are you in the Fort Lauderdale area and in need of help developing your tenant screening process? Drop us a line at the Homeriver Group to get started today.