How to Properly Screen New Tenants If You Own Rental Property

Dan Barcelon
Dan Barcelon
Published on September 14, 2017
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What You Will Learn in This Article (Reading Time – 5 Minutes):

  • What’s involved in the screening process
  • Why it’s important to find good tenants
  • How an effective screening process can help you find good tenants

As a real estate investor, you understand the true value associated with finding quality tenants for all of your empty rental units and maintaining excellent relationships with those individuals. However, you may also understand the true challenge associated with the process of finding reputable tenants and knowing how to properly and efficiently screen new tenants for each of your rental properties.

You need to screen new tenants effectively so that you know which tenants to sign a lease with and to allow into your property versus which ones to steer clear of. After all, the wrong tenants can ultimately cost you a significant amount of money in the form of expensive property repairs, eviction fees, and more. How can you properly and effectively screen new tenants to make a thoughtful leasing decision? By learning more about the screening process and by using one of the more effective screening tools that some local landlords are currently using today, you may be able to streamline this process and make better leasing decisions for your properties.

The Typical Tenant Screening Process

When you screen new tenants, you are required to review a tenant’s income status and overall income history over the course of recent years. You must also review and confirm the tenant’s employment status and job history, credit history, and criminal history or background if you want to be as thorough as possible with your review of the individual’s background and credentials. Ideally, you will also contact the tenant’s previous landlords to confirm that the applicant has paid his or her rental payments on time and has left previous rental homes in good condition. Any negative events in any of these areas may be a sign that you do not want to rent the property to the applicant. For example, if a previous landlord states that a rental home was left in a trashed state, you may not want to rent your own property to that applicant. You can see that when you screen new tenants, you must be thorough in each of these areas. You simply do not have room to make even a small mistake, or you stand to lose a substantial amount of money as a result of making a bad financial decision.

Building a Relationship With Quality Tenants

When you go through the effort to screen new tenants thoroughly and to find a quality tenant for your rental property, you understandably want to retain a relationship with a quality tenant for a long period of time. This means that you ideally want to service that tenant well and keep the tenant happy in your unit for many years if possible. Remember that there is a cost associated with tenant turnover. This cost is related to having a vacant unit, completing the make-ready on a unit, trying to screen a new tenant and taking a chance with another tenant in the future. Ideally, you will keep the quality tenant that you have located for many long and happy years. To make your quality tenant happy, you may work hard to respond to maintenance service requests quickly. You may only raise rental rates a moderate amount, and you may even keep rental rates below market levels as a means to encourage a renewal from this tenant. By taking these steps, you may encourage some tenants to remain in your unit for five or ten years or longer in some cases. However, all tenants will eventually move out at some point. This means that you eventually will be in a position where you need to screen new tenants again for your vacant unit, and you may now be looking for an easier way to screen new tenants. The good news is that there actually is an easier way to screen new tenants than to take a manual approach to the process.

An Easier Way to Screen Tenants

Many landlords are now using Clear Screening to screen new tenants before accepting an application. This is a fast and easy way for a landlord to review factors related to employment history, income, credit, rental history, criminal history and more. While there is a cost associated with using this program to screen new tenants, it can save a great deal of time and energy during the screening process, and you may find that it is more thorough and complete. You understandably want to find quality tenants for your units in the most effective way possible, and Clear Screening is an excellent resource for you to use. This is a cost-effective way to thoroughly and accurately screen new tenants. You will not have to worry about accidentally overlooking anything of importance when you use this effective software program, and you can complete the screening process quickly and easily. This can help you to get your vacant units leased faster so that you can once again start turning a profit on your empty units. Empty units are costing you money, and you need to find a fast and effective way to fill those units with a quality tenant who hopefully will remain in the unit for years and who will become a true financial asset that you can count on to pay rent on time for many years to come. Clear Screening is an excellent resource to use in this effort, and you can find out more about them here.

Clear Screening Tenants

Why I recommend it:

  • Allows you to screen tenants and employees in seconds
  • There’s no software to learn or install
  • Free SSN validation
  • No monthly minimums or memberships to buy

At Evergreen Properties and Investments, we have been assisting local properties owners in the Long Beach area with all aspects of their real estate needs. While we help our clients locate the ideal properties to buy and sell, we also help investors find tenants for their rental properties. Our team is committed to helping you with all of your Long Beach real estate needs, and we are ready to begin working for you. If you need to screen a tenant, find a tenant, or complete any other tasks for your Long Beach rental property, we are ready to help. Contact us today for assistance.

From the Author: My name is Dan Barcelon and I believe that Real Estate can be one of the most valuable assets you’ll ever own. I’m dedicated to educating and guiding my clients on how to manage and leverage their homes to create an Evergreen legacy for themselves and their family. I primarily consult both home buyers and home sellers on reaching their personal and financial goals through Real Estate in the following cities of Southern California: Long Beach,  Carson,  Cerritos,  Signal Hill,  Torrance,  Lakewood,  Cypress,  Downey,  Bellflower,  Norwalk,  Wilmington,  La Palma,  and Artesia.

If you’d like to discuss if buying, selling, or investing in real estate is right for you at this time, feel free to reach out. You can call/text me at 562-270-5812, or you can e-mail me at danb@EPIrealestate.biz.

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How to Properly Screen New Tenants If You Own Rental Property
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