This is why we Screen Tenants

There are a lot of reasons to screen potential tenants of your property…

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Skipping

Landlords form a contract with the tenant because they want to know the period of time that they can receive that rental income on the property.  They need the time to prepare and market the property for the next tenant so that the income stream is steady.  When a tenant leaves without warning due to bad credit, or other issues, this is a huge inconvenience to the Landlord.  If only they would warn us ahead of time!

Property Damage

Luckily we can keep the security deposit when this happens, but who wants to clean up a mess?  Time is money just as much as the cost of the physical repairs.  Sometimes the security deposit isn’t enough to compensate for these costs.

Theft

Without screening, you’re just waiting to have a resident that steals around the community or in other parts of the neighborhood.

Violence

Not all violent acts are documented, but a simple criminal history check can provide extra assurance that the prospective tenant has not been violent in the past.

Noise

This is a disturbance to neighbors and inevitably it is a disturbance to you.  While you can’t screen for noise, tenants with a good background tend to follow the community rules more closely and are respectful of others.

Sex Offenders

This is an easy thing to check and a terrible thing to have in the community.  Many of these individuals can seem very innocent in person.  Don’t be fooled by the act and make sure they are as innocent as they appear.

Accidental Injury/Manslaughter

Carelessness causes a lot of injuries.  This can include leaving something in the middle of a walkway, or driving too fast in the parking lot.  Carelessness can show up in various parts of the screening report like having a continued series of traffic violations.

Late Rent Payments

This is one of the biggest pet peeves of property managers.  You have your own payments to make and you will often get late charges when you are unable to pay because the tenant hasn’t paid.  Your only option is to fine the tenant for being late on the payment.  This only works if the tenant simply forgot.  If the tenant has bad credit and/or is struggling to pay on a monthly basis, then a fine only worsens the situation.  Checking the tenant’s credit history solves this problem.

Illegal Drug Use/Dealing

In the minor cases, the odor is an occasional inconvenience to neighbors.  In bad cases, the person is a drug dealer or possesses a significant amount of drugs.  Landlords can be held liable for knowingly harboring a drug dealer.  It’s best to have a strict no-drug policy and to screen their background to ensure that they don’t have a history.

** Always be sure to follow all proper procedures when handling a tenant.  Please be sure that any metric you use in review of an application must be applied to all applications to rent.  A comprehensive view of F.C.R.A. law and procedures can be found here.  Also be sure to follow all fair housing laws and not to discriminate based on race, gender, minority group, etc.  Please also observe local ordinances, which may supersede some federal laws. **

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