Do not bother screening your tenants. If you go with your gut, it will save you time and money placing tenants. All you need to do is talk on the phone and meet with a person or persons, or family.
If you connect with them, then obviously they are good. I mean most people are good, and would never lie. Shelter is a basic necessity of life, so everyone takes it seriously.
I mean despite the state of the economy and the subprime loan market growing by leaps and bounds, people especially the ones that apply to rent apartments and houses are the exception. They always pay on time.
If people have kids, then they really will be committed to paying, because they would want to provide stability for there family and be good roll models.
All pet owners are responsible. They are a perfect care taker of their dog. I mean if I can see the affection they have for their dog or pet, they must look after it, and accept responsibility for its actions.
If someone tells me they do not have a previous landlord reference because they can’t remember who it was, they are likely telling the truth. Maybe they were such a good tenant they never contacted them (makes me wonder who they paid the rent to every month).
If someone has been living at home, I just need to accept that. Why bother actually checking.
Ok, enough, lets cut to the chase about what this post is really about.
If you are a landlord or property manager, you have a responsibility to your good and great tenants and the place where they live.
Proper screening takes time and costs money.
If I were to rent a place, and the landlord or property manager did not want to bother screening me, I would walk away.
Let’s face it, would you want to live next to a bunch of people who were not screened. Who knows what could happen.
Oh, wait, I can show you some sample pictures of some bad tenants. The pictures do not even start to tell the full story, and in one case we lost two awesome tenants, due to the placement of one bad one. If we did not work with the right government agencies to get them out, we could have lost all the good tenants in the building.
The mental stress along is not worth it.
We use a 4 step process, I am not suggesting you use it, or even if it is good. It is not perfect but seems to work about 99% of the time.
It is all about 4 pillars:
Pillar one: Credit check – the mention of this often sparks debate – see chapter 3 in my book
Pillar two: Current and previous landlord reference
Pillar three: Personal reference
Pillar four: Income verification
I hope you enjoyed this post. I know it will spark some healthy debate. I will say that the majority of tenants are good and check out great, however, if you are still relying on your gut and not a process, I suggest you change starting today.
Enjoy the pics from a couple of ugly tenant situations I have witnessed over the years.
Thank you for reading,