The last thing you need as a property owner or manager, is a troublesome tenant who’ll stunt your business growth. Unfortunately, according to the 80/20 landlord tenant relationship rule, about a fifth of your tenants will cause 80% of your business-related stress. The only reliable method of reducing the headache is identifying the rotten elements and weeding them out before they begin brewing a concoction of problems.

For a while, many landlords have been relying on a system of judging prospective tenants from their first impressions- to decide on whether to proceed with their respective tenancy contracts or not. Of course this has largely been turning out to be considerably ineffectual, with some ill-mannered tenants initially appearing as polite, polished, organized and cooperative individuals, before unleashing their true colors during their tenancy period. While some turn out to be hardcore criminals, others fail to honor their sides of the deal by defaulting their rent payments.

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FreeImages.com/Rafael Marchesini

Due to these inefficiencies, landlords are increasingly opting for comprehensive resident screening processes which extend overall tenant qualification parameters. Resident screening not only evaluates prospective tenants from their appearances and mannerisms, but also credit scores and histories including relationships with past landlords.

Normally, the process is divided into two major stages- Before and after receiving rental applications.

Before Receiving Applications

To reduce your workload in latter stages, your tenant qualification process should begin way earlier- before the official applications are made. Start by inquiring for particulars anytime a tenant contacts you for property viewing. If your property has a strict policy against pets for instance, learning whether an individual has one or not will help you determine how to proceed.

If the prospective applicants don’t exhibit any “deal breaker” qualities, you should invite them to see the respective properties. This gives you a chance to interact with them individually to make informed choices on who you’d most likely enjoy working with. Check their IDs and ask each applicant identical questions to learn a little more about each of them. Since this will probably take quite some time, you should consider charging a fee for it along with the credit check costs when a prospective tenant lodges and official application.

After Receiving Applications

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FreeImages.com/Sigurd Decroos

All applications should be approached and treated equally, applying standard assessment factors across the board. Check and confirm your respective applicants’ rental histories, employment information and credit reports before making a final decision.