Tenant screening is one of the most important things you need to do when managing your own rental property. After all, your rent will be the source of your income so it’s essential that you pick a tenant who can pay the rent on time and someone who will take care your property.
Here are some tips on how you can pick the right tenant for your rental property:
Check their credit
A credit check will tell you a tenant's financial position and also whether they have a track record of paying their bills on time. Ask if they are willing to go through a credit check or provide bank statements for your scrutiny. Keep in mind that if the applicant refuses to do so, it does not necessarily mean they cannot afford to pay their rent.
Contact their previous landlord
One of the ways you can screen a tenant is by contacting their previous landlord. It is a good idea to speak with at least two of the tenant’s previous landlords. You can ask questions such as:
- Did the applicant pay their rent on time?
- How long did the applicant live at the property?
- Why did the applicant transfer?
- Did the applicant caused any major damage to the apartment?
- Were they a respectful neighbour?
- Were they easy to communicate with?
Find out their rental history
Reading through their rental history can tell you a lot about their traits as a tenant. Have they rented five different properties in the last two years? This can mean that there is a problem with their behaviour as a tenant and they may continue this when they rent your property.
Review their salary
Ideally, your tenant’s salary should be at least three times the monthly rent. To find out their salary ask for copies of their pay slips or contact their employer directly. You can ask the employer questions such as:
- Is the applicant a permanent or a temporary employee?
- How long have they been an employee?
- What is their monthly pay?
- Do they have positive employment prospects in the company?
- Is the applicant a responsible and punctual employee?
If they are self-employed, you can request documents to verify their business ownership, and assess their cash flow for the past two years.
Don’t rush into choosing a tenant
There’s no need to accept the first application you receive. You can assess a range of prospective tenants so you have a wider choice and get a better outcome. Make sure to inform every applicant that there are other candidates.