When it comes to finding a good renter, implementing a comprehensive screening process is important. Eliminating those who are not a good fit for your property can save you time, money, and a host of headaches. The purpose of screening tenants is to find renters who are highly likely to fulfill all the terms of your rental agreement. At the very least, your tenant should be able to afford the rent, be willing to pay on time, and treat you and your property with respect.
Screening potential renters can be time-consuming, but it’s well worth the effort. It’ll require that you integrate a formal process to all applicants equally, and that you’re comfortable saying “no” to applicants who do not measure up. When you decline unsuitable renters, you must do so professionally so there is no question of discrimination. Fortunately, it can be easy to ask the right questions, obtain accurate information, and protect yourself when choosing your next renter. Start with the Right Questions
Open-ended questions can reveal good information about your prospective renter in addition to the traditional request for references and past and current employers. You might learn more about their employment or discover why the tenant is moving. It might also be beneficial to ask questions over the phone while evaluating the applicant, and then get answers in writing. However, keep in mind that according to Fair Housing laws, you are not entitled to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, family status, or handicap––so stay clear of any questions pertaining to these categories. FULL ARTICLE