In Phoenix, AZ, tenant screening is crucial for any landlord. Proper screening helps weed out potentially problematic renters, saving both parties headaches down the line.
Unsure where to start with background checks to find the best tenants? This quick guide will outline the essential aspects of tenant screening, including credit reports, criminal background checks, and references.
The Importance of Pre-Screening
Why pre-screen your tenants? In today's competitive rental market, it's one of the best ways to ensure you find the best tenants. Taking the time to pre-screen tenants can save you a lot of trouble in the long run, including:
- Missed rent payments
- Property damage
- Eviction proceedings
Ultimately, this extra step ensures a greater chance of finding trustworthy tenants who will treat your property respectfully and pay rent on time.
Tenant Screening Steps
So, where do you get started? With the right tenant screening steps, you can streamline the process and ensure that you find responsible and reliable tenants who will take care of your property and pay the rent on time. Here's how to do just that.
The first step in tenant screening is gathering references. This process involves contacting previous landlords and employers to determine the applicant's rental and work history.
It's important to ask the right questions during this process, such as the following:
- The length of the tenancy
- Rent payment history
- Whether or not the tenant caused any damage to the property
These questions will help you determine if the applicant is a suitable tenant for your rental property.
Run Background Checks
The next step is to run a tenant background check. This process can help you uncover any potential red flags that may have been missed during the reference check. A background check typically includes a:
- Criminal history check
- Credit report
- Eviction search
One quick note about this, though - ensuring that you have the applicant's signed consent before running any background checks is important.
Evaluate Income and Employment
If you want to find tenants who are financially responsible, it's important to evaluate their income and employment status. Ideally, tenants should earn at least three times the monthly rent and have a stable job history. You can verify the applicant's employment by requesting a recent pay stub or contacting their employer directly.
Conduct a Tenant Interview
Finally, conducting a tenant interview is important to get to know your potential tenants better. This interview should cover their lifestyle, hobbies, and reasons for moving. It's your chance to assess whether they are a good fit for your rental property and to clarify any questions you may have about their application.
Help With Tenant Screening
While tenant screening is important when finding the right tenants, it can be overwhelming for landlords to handle alone. If you need help outsourcing these tasks, consider hiring a Phoenix property management firm.
Not only can they handle the screening process for you, but they also have access to more resources, such as rental history and employment verification, ensuring that you find a trustworthy tenant for your property.
Get Property Management Services
Looking for help with tenant screening? Our experienced team at PMI Phoenix Metro can help! Contact us today to learn more about our full suite of property management services.