In the early days of anyone’s career as a landlord or as a property manager, one of the quickest way to turn you off to the business entirely: the bad tenant. Screening is always important, but there are a number of ways that you can pre-screen your tenants so that you catch problems before they happen and everything goes much more smoothly.
Pre-screening tips by phone
Most likely, every single ad you have placed indicates that people should give you a call to arrange a showing. At this time, you can effectively filter things. One of the first things you should take note of, is how they answer. If they don’t want to, or they show an unwillingness, then you can politely decline the showing. The first question you should ask is this:
Is your monthly income three times the rent price or higher?
And if that is a favorable answer, then you can move on to these:
How long have you been with your current employer?
How many people will be living in the unit?
What pets will you bring with you, if you have them and how many?
What is your rental history like and why?
If these answers are what you need them to be, then, you can go ahead and show the property. However, to further pre-screen, always check their prior rental references. Here are a few questions you should ask:
Why was it they moved out?
Were they on time with rent, and if they weren’t, were their reasons understandable, did they communicate with you to arrange things before it was a problem?
Did they take care of the property and also, were they good with their neighbors?
For those first time renters
Some people just haven’t built up rental history, but you shouldn’t decline them based on this. There are a few things that you can do here, beginning with requesting a co-signer. Often, people recommend a credit check but, the issue with first time renters is this: they may also not really have much of a credit history.