Tenant screening is a way for property managers to minimize their risks and keep tenants safe and comfortable. When you’re considering a new rental applicant, performing a tenant background check can help weed out potential problems before they move in.
The following is a look at the three primary reasons property managers should always be thorough in their tenant screening processes.
1. To ensure you get your rent checks every month.
As a landlord, your top concern is that you receive that rent check every month, on time and paid in full. A tenant background check that includes running a credit report will turn up red flags such as a history of late payments or debts that have gone into collections. Similarly, by verifying employment history as part of the tenant screening process, you can assess whether the applicant has the means to pay rent reliably.
2. To prevent property damage.
Allowing someone to take possession of your rental property is a tremendous act of trust; you are essential placing your financial asset into a stranger’s hands. By examining a prospective tenant’s rental history and criminal background as part of your tenant screening, you can easily spot warning signs that he or she may put your property at risk. For example, a thorough criminal records search will reveal whether the person has a history of crimes against property or other violent crimes.
3. To limit legal liability.
If a tenant commits a crime against another tenant, you could be held legally liable – especially if you failed to perform a tenant background check that would have turned up the person’s criminal tendencies. The more thorough your tenant screening practices are, the better your chances of sidestepping legal responsibility in case a tenant turns violent.