Tenant Screening Tactics for Property Management Companies

November 2, 2021 10:48 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

If you’re a landlord and/or work for a property management company, you’ve likely had a lot of experience with tenants. There’s probably been a wide range of experiences, from the pleasant to the disastrous. It’s not always easy to know which applicants will be good tenants, but there are some ways to find out, if you’re willing to do the legwork.

If you work for a property management company, they might have their own screening guidelines in place, and you should refer to those. But going above and beyond can prove valuable for you as a landlord and the property management company. Here are some tenant screening tips that can help weed out potentially troublesome tenants.

Put it in writing first

As a landlord, your first step in the screening process is creating your listing. Make it very clear and have it outline who and what you want your ideal tenant to be. Be sure to put all the relevant information in the listing like location, cost of rent and expectations. Doing so will save you time and hopefully discourage tenants you wouldn’t want.

Talk to potential tenants on the phone

This step doesn’t take much time, but it can tell you a lot about the person you’re thinking of renting to. By speaking with them, you’ll be able to tell if they’re rude or polite and get a feel for their general demeanor. This will also give them the chance to ask questions, and this will tell you more about them. They might ask questions that a thorough reading of the listing should have already answered. If they ask about pets, smoking or haggling on the rent, these could be red flags you’d want to make note of.

Check more than just basic data on employer references

Many landlords will call a prospective tenant’s employer to ask basic questions about income and employment status, but you can take it a step further. Ask what kind of employee the person is. Are they always on time? Do they work hard when they’re at work? Are they often late, sick or absent? Has the employer ever suspected the potential tenant was under the influence of any substances? All these factors could matter, because bad employees often make bad tenants.

Check two references from previous landlords instead of one

If you call the prospective tenant’s current landlord and receive a glowing recommendation, that might not be the full story. The best way for a landlord to get rid of one of their worst tenants is to give a good recommendation and send the person on their way. That’s why you should call the landlord before that. The second landlord hasn’t recently had to deal with the tenant you’re currently screening, so their answer is much more likely to be honest.

Make dishonesty a disqualifier

If, during the tenant screening process, you catch a potential tenant lying—about anything—you should immediately remove them from consideration. Someone who lies about small things could easily be lying about other bigger things. It’s unwise to trust people who have shown they’ll use deception to get what they want, and you should have no problem finding an honest person to rent to.

Call for property management services today

If you work for a property management company, call the team at Buhrt Builders Inc. if you’re in need of help getting a property back in prime condition after a troublesome tenant.

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