Let’s face it: good tenants are hard to find. So, how can you find them? There are basic steps that every landlord should take to ensure a prospective resident will take good care of your home and pay rent on time. That’s all that really matters.
Obviously, credit and credit issues matter. You’re looking for bankruptcies, rental collections, judgments, and liens. This information is important, but you can use the credit report for other things. View it in the context of confirming information. You want to make sure the addresses on the credit report match those on the application.
Look at what the current landlord has to say about the prospective tenant versus the previous landlord. Check tax records to find out who owns the property so you know you’re talking to the landlord, not a friend or relative of the applicant. Have a question or two that only the true homeowner would know.
Income or Stability Quotient
The days of accepting a couple of pay stubs as proof of income are over. It’s too easy to get a fake one. Speak to the employer and look at the tenant’s current bank statements. Depending on the consumer debt they have, you want to see income of 3.5 to 4 times the amount of rent. It also helps if they have money in savings. You want to make sure they are financially stable and prepared to handle any unexpected expenses and curveballs.
Additional Screening Techniques
You can drive by the tenant’s existing residence and see how the home is being maintained. You can also check social media. Do they have pictures of their favorite pet when their application claims they don’t have a pet? You can Google them and do a criminal background check. Be sure you are up to date on current HUD requirements as they relate to using a criminal history as a reason to deny applications.
This seems like a lot of work, but moving a good tenant into your house is worth the effort. If you have any questions about tenant screening or Georgia property management, please contact us at Haas Properties.