Are you a newbie landlord? One thing that many new landlords forget to complete is their tenant screenings. A tenant screening is a background check that ensures that a tenant is in good credit and legal standing. Without a tenant screening, you could quickly end up with damaging, deadbeat tenants that are almost impossible to remove.
1. Completing the Tenant Screening Last Minute
A tenant screening does take some time to produce, especially if you want it to be accurate. Many landlords choose to do the tenant screening last minute as a formality, but that's a bad idea; it could hold up the entire process, or you could discover an issue with the tenant when you're just about to hand over the keys. It's best to take a fee from the tenant for the screening to begin with and to screen as applications come in.
2. Only Screening Some Tenants
If you're going to screen one tenant, you need to screen them all. Screening only some tenants can look like discrimination--and, besides, it doesn't give you an appropriate picture of all of your tenant options. Since the cost of the screening can be passed on to the tenants themselves, there really is no reason not to screen every single tenant. You may even be able to get discounted rates for bulk screenings.
3. Not Listening to the Report
Many landlords, especially new ones, make up their minds about their tenants when they first meet them. Perhaps they seem like a nice young couple, or maybe like a sweet older lady. Regardless, it's a bad idea to form a first impression and then ignore the results of a report. People are not always who you think they are, and the report itself will be hard evidence as to what type of tenant they really are.
4. Not Asking the Tenant for More Information
It's always a good idea to inquire if something jumps out at you about the tenant. There are some situations that can be explained. As an example, if the tenant seems responsible but has bad credit, an inquiry could lead you to find out that the credit score was erroneous. But don't accept their word as proof; make sure that you get something in writing.
A good tenant screening company, such as Metropolitan Tenant, will be able to handle most of the issues for you and sidestep any major problems. You can usually save a significant amount of both time and money by getting your screenings done for you.