To protect their hard-built and earned investments, landlords are often compelled to ensure they only let in the crème de la crème of tenants to save themselves possible subsequent headaches. They highly prefer respectful and cooperative tenants who not only maintain timely payments, but also keep the properties in good condition and observe respective tenancy rules. Since it’s considerably difficult to pick out such individuals from a crowd of applicants, how do landlords circumvent this problem to focus only on the most suitable candidates?

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The most efficacious approach is tenant screening. By comprehensively assessing individual tenants through a systematic process, you’ll be able to qualify only the most suitable people for tenancy. While some landlords carryout the process themselves, others, especially ones faced with high applicant numbers, outsource the tasks to third party service providers. Regardless of whichever group you fall in, it’s critically important to generate tenant screening reports on all the tenants involved.

A tenant screening report contains all the relevant information pertaining to a certain tenant. Through these reports, you’ll effectively compare different variables among various tenants to ultimately make a decision on who to let into your property.

To help you further comprehend its relevance, here are some of the typical details which are contained in such a report:

Rental History

This is the part that indicates properties that were previously rented by a certain tenant. By evaluating the rental history, you’ll learn about your prospective tenant’s relationships with past landlords and subsequently understand his/her attitude towards property owners and managers. To get further details on this, it’s advisable to call past landlords and inquire about a prospective tenant’s behavior and tendencies especially in regards to property maintenance.

Employment Information

Though not very critical, some landlords find it very important to research on their prospects’ employment history and include it in their tenant screening reports. Being aware of your tenant’s employment history helps you comprehend the type of activities he/she engages in and how he subsequently raises the rent. Otherwise, you’d be risking housing a criminal or an unemployed individual incapable of making regular rent payments.

Credit Card Report

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Since credit card reports cannot be faked, this is arguably the most reliable element in assessing a prospective tenant. You need an applicant’s social security number, address and full names to obtain a full credit card report and subsequently analyze his/her FICO score. A typical applicant would have a score ranging from 300-850, with any score lower than 650 considered high risk.

Although you are free to add any other elements you consider relevant to your tenant screening process, these three are mostly sufficient in making informed decisions on prospective tenants.