The Importance of Thorough Tenant Screening

Written by Posted On Friday, 25 March 2016 05:17

Many landlords don’t require personal information, income verification and tenant history when they assess potential new tenants. They focus only on finding new tenants and receiving their monthly rent, without taking the kind of person they will invite into their rental property into consideration. Although the outcome of this overall lack of tenant screening can turn out to be nothing serious (if you are lucky), it is crucial to have as much information as possible concerning your new tenants before you let them live on your property.

If you happen to be a landlord, you must understand the importance of tenant screening and start practicing it as soon as possible. Without proper tenant screening, you can very easily find yourself in a situation where some criminal moves into your rental property and puts both you and the neighbourhood at risk. The other potential outcome can refer to you having a tenant that suddenly disappears without paying rent. In order for you to successfully avoid these negative outcomes, you should really consider conducting thorough tenant screening. Let’s take a look the main purpose of this, before we tackle its importance.


What Is the Main Purpose for Conducting Tenant Screening?

The answer is, your source of income and your property. You need to do a thorough background check on your potential tenants in order to ensure that you’ve found responsible tenants who will actually both pay the rent and pay the bills, without leaving you in debt. Apart from paying the rent on time, they need to respect your property and take proper care of it.

Another very important reason for conducting tenant screening is to ensure that you protect your neighbourhood as well. By doing a background check of the tenants, you can ensure that you don’t put other residents of the community at risk by finding a tenant with a serious criminal history.


These few reasons for tenant screening are imperative when it comes to protecting yourself, your property and other residents, but there are many more reasons why you should definitely make it your priority when searching for new tenants, so let’s explore the several benefits you can have from doing thorough tenant screening.



It Helps You Find Reliable and Trustworthy Tenants

As already discussed, you need to find tenants who will be responsible and pay the rent on time. Tenant screening reports can provide you with all the information concerning credit score, credit reports, previous tenant history, eviction information and much more. When you collect all that information, you will find out if your potential tenants are reliable and responsible, as well as whether or not they can be trustworthy.


If a credit report happens to show some late payments in your potential tenant’s previous tenant history, it need not necessarily mean that they are unreliable. However, if such incidents happened consistently, it may be a tell-tale sign that your potential tenants will not pay the rent on time. That is why an insight into their tenant history, as well as their credit score, to see if they can actually afford the unit, are of crucial importance for you and your profitability. You need to mitigate the risk as much as possible.


It Lowers the Risk of Endangering Yourself and Other Residents

Tenant screening reports can provide you with information concerning the potential criminal activity your future tenants may have. If they happen to have a criminal history, you will not only put yourself at risk, but the residents of the neighbourhood as well. You need to make sure that your tenants are not people who will endanger the community and open the door to a lot of stress, anxiety and fear. Other residents have their full right to enjoy their living environment and, by having a potentially dangerous criminal living next door, they have the right to turn to legal actions.


Tenant screening can provide you with criminal and terrorist reports, so it is truly vital that you list tenant screening as your number one priority when looking for the tenants for your rental property. It is essential that you look into them not only from a credit and tenant history standpoint, but also from a criminal standpoint, which may actually be more important.


It Protects You from Potential Discrimination Issues

Due to federal laws, it is illegal to discriminate against your tenants according to their gender, religion, nationality, marital status, age or potential disability. However, many people are still very prejudiced and it happens many times that tenants feel discriminated against by their landlords, even though they have no reason to feel that way.


It also happens that prospective applicants come to the conclusion that they have been rejected by landlords due to discrimination, in which case they have the right for open litigation. That is why tenant screening is very important and can come in pretty handy in such situations. With a good tenant screening service, you can have proof that you based your decision to reject an applicant due to facts and evidence, thus protecting yourself from any potential discrimination issues.


Finding the best tenants for your rental property is definitely not an easy job to do, which is why many landlords turn to hiring professional property managers to handle everything for them, especially if they happen to live far away from their rental property. Conducting tenant screening to find the best tenants for your rental home is of paramount importance, since not only can it help you find reliable and responsible tenants, but it also provides you with a piece of mind.


No one wants criminals or negligent people living in their home, putting other residents of the neighbourhood at risk but, unfortunately, that happens pretty often, which is why you must do everything you can to protect both yourself and the community. Thorough tenant screening is absolutely the best way to do that.

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