Rental Property

A Guide to Tenant Screening For Rental Properties

Whether you are a property manager or landlord, finding the right tenant is overwhelming for everyone. While being able to find a suitable tenant is a significant achievement. The initial efforts you invest in screening the right candidate helps you go a long way. When you have the right tenant, you don’t have to run behind for rent, fixing property damage now, and then handling major disputes and complaints. As such, there are ample benefits that come with a comprehensive tenant screening.

Having a thorough screening plan enables you to find good candidates without wasting your time and effort. If you are looking for some guidance on tenant screening, this is the post you ought to read. This guide covers tried and tested tips on tenant screening that aid you reach out to authentic candidates.

Highlight Your Criteria in Your Listing

The first step to tenant screening is elimination. Filter out the pool of individuals who do not meet your desired renting preferences. And you can do this easily by incorporating detailed information in your listing. Include a line in your vacant property listing that every applicant needs to undergo a screening process. In addition to this, also include lifestyle items, for example – 

  • Pet policy
  • Smoking Policy
  • Rent to income ratio standard

Doing so will help you filter out wrong suitors for your property easily. 

Plan a Face to Face Meeting

When considering a candidate for screening, go and meet him/her in person. A face-to-face meeting will convey a lot about a person otherwise impossible to be revealed through a phone call. Before getting into any paperwork, ask them basic questions and verify their responses.

General questions that you may consider asking:-

  • What’s your monthly income?
  • When are you planning to move in?
  • Will you have regular parties at the place?
  • How many people will live with you in the apartment?

Since you will deal with each other for the long term, it is mutually beneficial to have a face to face meeting to foster a good relationship.

Conduct a Background Check

A background check is a must for tenant screening as you are likely to deal with the person for years to come. The person you choose as a tenant should have a clean criminal background and credit history. Moreover, the interested renter should abide by your proposed renting policies. If a person has red flags, they may not consider applying if you mention the background check. A thorough background check will protect you, your property, neighbours, and your other tenants.

Contact References

To look into the entire rental history of an applicant, speak to their current and former landlords. This will provide you with a better idea of your applicant’s character. Ask them if the person paid rent on time or not, followed the terms of the lease, or took care of the property. Having a word with rental references is the best way to know your potential tenant’s past behaviour. 

Bonus Tip

Hire a good property management company.

Tenant screening is one of the most critical and time-consuming tasks in rental dynamics. Finding good tenants leads to long-term occupancy and less headache of maintenance and rent collection. A good property management company will ensure that your property is occupied faster with good tenants to generate steady revenue. It will also make sure that your property value appreciates more year-on-year, beating the average growth.

MTL GROUP is a property management and financing company, operating in the Greater Montreal area in Quebec. Our professionals are just a phone call away to assist you with your property management and financing needs.