7 Things To Look For When Screening Tenants in Cumming

Opening up your home to strangers can be scary, especially after you hear stories about tenants who ill-behave or put your property in jeopardy.  Just thinking about it can make your stomach churn, right? Almost all landlords go through this phase at least once in their landlord life and the feeling can linger for quite some time.

But we’re here to tell you that there are ways in which you can work to find a good tenant.  This requires putting time, patience, and effort during the screening process. Try to avoid getting tenants from off the street as much as possible. By that, we mean not saying yes to anyone who throws an interest in your property right away. 

First things first, you need to prepare your application form. You can find thousands of tenant application form templates on the internet, but it would be best if you modify them or customize them yourself. This is because every landlord has different tenant preferences, and you’re the only one who knows precisely what your property can handle.

In this article, we give you seven (7) critical points to include in your tenant application or screening form:

Income and Employment

Every landlord’s nightmare is their tenants not paying rent. It’s one thing when they can’t pay on time, and it’s another thing when they don’t really have any plans of paying. To avoid this kind of trouble, you have to make sure that the tenant has enough funds to cover the duration of the lease. If the lease is six (6) months, you need to verify that their income is enough to pay rent in the next six (6) months.

One of the ways to check this is to request an employment certificate that details how long the person is being employed in their company and how much is the person’s compensation. If the employment contract says that your tenant will only be employed in the next three (3) months, then that’s a precipice you don’t want to linger in — unless your tenant has other sources of income.

To recall, you’d want your tenant to be financially capable enough to pay the downpayment, security deposit, and the lease amount you are charging tenants for the entire duration.

Tenant History

Second. You’d want your tenant to be well-behaved and professional. This means paying the rent on time, following house rules, respecting the property, and keeping that open communication with you, their landlord.  How people act and react in previous situations can spell how they will work in the future.  Thus, you have to ask your tenant applicants for character references, preferably their previous landlords or housemates. 

Tenant history can include how long they stayed in previous rentals, situations where they got into a conflict with the landlord or fellow tenants, how often they delayed payments, and the like.   

Credit History  

Third. Like lenders, you can check your tenant’s credit history as set forth in the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  The three (3) most popular credit reporting companies include Equifax, TransUnion, and Experience. Credit reports can tell you if the person is fond of delaying payments or still has many financial obligations to address. If your tenant has a lot of credit to pay, you may want to think more about it because that would mean their lease budget is at risk. 

Criminal Background

Fourth.  You have to know whether your tenant has any history of violence. If you obtain a credit report, you’ll be able to see any legal problems your tenant has faced. Apart from that, you can also require your tenants to submit a police clearance certificate. 

Personal Habits

Fifth. It’s highly advisable to know your tenant personally, even if it’s still on paper. Their habits show you how good or bad they will take care of your property and how they will behave for the rest of the lease duration.

For example, if you don’t want people to smoke on your property, then you have to ask your tenants whether they smoke or not (or whether they will respect your rules and only smoke in designated areas).

Reason for Relocation

Sixth is, you have to know why your tenant is relocating to your property. This can be because of a new job, a need for more space, a need to downgrade, a need to find a better place, etc. It’s essential to ask this because some tenants may be relocating because they were kicked out of their previous rental due to some bad reasons. If you think your tenant is lying to you, you can request more details to verify with their last landlord.

Other People Residing with the Tenant

Last but not least, find out whether your tenant will bring other permanent housemates over. This is very common for families or if your tenant is going to split the rent with a friend. Regardless, it would help if you asked your applicant who they’re going to bring and some information about them. 

Source: RentPrep

There are plenty of companies that offer tenant screening services, so you won’t have to. Converting any property into a rental can be easy with the right help and circumstance. However, if your situation makes it difficult for you to venture into the rental industry, you can also consider selling your home off the market.

At Spire Property Solutions, we buy homes in Georgia in their current condition, and you won’t have to deal with a lengthy sale process because we buy houses directly from homeowners without a real estate agent.  Give us a call, and we can brew up an offer for you in as fast as 24 hours!

Send us a message through the form below or call us directly at (678) 318 – 1801.

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