In property management, screening tenants is one of the most crucial processes. Statements like these are difficult to make. Tenant screening is an important process, but it is the most easily rushed and has the most positive or negative consequences. The step-by-step process described here will help you rent your property quickly and efficiently, without a lot of hassle, stress, or expense.
What is tenant screening?
Let’s clarify a few points before we get down to the business. Your investment property must be screened for tenants as part of the official application process. The screening process at Attorney real property management includes a credit check, criminal background check, and eviction check. Our law firm contacts previous landlords after these are cleared.
Qualities of great tenants
You would associate qualities with a great tenant who might be clean-cut, quiet, professional, or even a graduate student. All of the above criteria are discriminatory, but they cannot be measured in any way. You could as well say, I want to rent my property out to someone like me.
It is accurate to answer:
A great tenant must meet or exceed the minimum criteria and adhere to policy requirements throughout their tenancy.
Why choose Attorneys Real Property Management?
Although we try to get your investment rented as soon as possible, we believe it is more important to get the right tenant over the fast one. By investing some time and effort upfront to find the best tenant, you will create a stress-free and enjoyable experience for everyone. The eviction rate for tenants we placed in rental units is less than 1%! There is much more to a credit check than merely verifying employment and a credit report. The process we use for screening tenants is of superior quality. The following information is gathered extensively:
- Checking credit
- Verifying employment
- A ratio of debt to income
- Review of eviction histories
- Verification of criminal history
- Former landlord call
Unlike many lenders, we don’t rely solely on credit scores, and we take a holistic view of the person as a whole during the screening process.
Setting Your Minimum Requirement
How do you determine which tenant will be allowed to rent your property? Our eligibility criteria must be strong enough to avoid unnecessary risk but not so strict that it limits the pool of applicants. You need to understand your property and its demand to set effective minimum requirements. As an example:
We require a household income as high as 2.5x rent (we have increased this requirement to 3x rent). The following combination of income verification is required:
- Two most recent pay stubs
- HR Department offer letter
- In the statement of bank accounts, the rent amount is 2.5x the lease term.
To secure a six-month lease at $1,200/month, $1,800 must be in the bank.
2.5 x 1,200 x 6 = $18,000. In this way, people who have moved to this area to seek employment can still qualify. Additionally, there are cases where one household member is employed, and the other is unemployed. Savings can also cover the difference.
The minimum security deposit requirement is 600 points on the credit report.
- A credit score of 550-599 equals one month’s security plus one month’s rent upfront.
- For credit score 500-549, the lease would be for six months plus a double security deposit and one month’s rent in advance.
- Rent set up for six months as soon as possible + two security deposits + first & last month rent before move-in.
- The tenant will not be considered for tenancy if he has an eviction history or any amount owed to the landlord or property management company. Criminal records such as felonies, property crimes, or crimes involving drugs possession, use, or distribution, will exclude tenants.
A new ordinance enacted by SACRAMENTO prevents landlords from unfairly denying potential tenants housing based on their criminal histories. The law also prohibits adverts from excluding people with criminal records or arrest records.
This will also serve as a great place to provide details about your pet policy & utility billing procedures.
Protected Classes, Discrimination, & Fair Housing Laws
Thirdly, you should never set different criteria for different people regardless of their reasons for doing so.
Fair Housing Law can be summed up pretty simply. People should not be discriminated against based on their race, religion, gender, or disability. Several protected classes that are not protected under other laws are found in your city, such as sexual orientation, section 8 participation, criminal history, etc.
Six must include sections for proper tenants screening
Each user’s information must be requested the same way. To run the credit and background check, you will need at least the following information:
- Details of contact( phone & email)
- Number of social security
- Income/Employment at present
- Rent history
Moreover, we like to obtain the tenants’ Emergency Contact Name and Number and the name and number for any pets and vehicle.
An online application is most likely to be preferred by applicants. Our preference is to submit applications online, not only because it eliminates paper but also because it automatically dates and timestamps them. After that, we can operate on the first-come, first-served principle.
How can we run a background check and credit check?
It is recommended to use a third-party screening agency. One popular choice is My Smart Move by TransUnion. You can send your prospective tenants an online application created by this product. The Downside to this is the requirement for double approval.
Prospective tenants will apply, and then you run their application, and then they have to grant your request. The security measure for preventing credit fraud seems redundant because it is. The turnaround time of 48 hours is also a disadvantage.
The credit processing company needs to perform a screening process to get immediate tenant credit check results and single authorization. Application forms must fill out, fees must be paid, and a representative of the credit company must conduct an inspection. The purpose of this inspection is to prove that your company is legitimate.
Any proof that it’s a legitimate company, such as letterheads and business cards, is required. Security measures for individual credit reports can also include securing doors, updating passwords on computers, and securing file cabinets. This has greatly simplified the process as you can now conduct screenings and receive results back immediately.
This will not be available to most self-managed owners who operate themselves out of their homes. There is nothing to worry about! The Smart Move is very effective, but it requires a little extra time and effort.
How to Read Criminal Background Report?
A few Google searches and some practices will help you understand what is happening on these reports. This course must teach you about criminal offenses (which vary by state) and credit reports.
Criminal histories that were dismissed are not regarded as convictions. The fact that someone was wronged and found innocent cannot be held against them! In some cases, the crimes may seem very offensive. However, there was no proof of guilt, so the assumption of innocence exists.
It’s uncommon to see items like tickets, which are sometimes misdemeanors in some states. Another common offense is MIP or Minor in Possession of Alcohol. An applicant of 25 years old can have been charged with a MIP of 20 years ago.
Thus, determining the specific case-by-case consideration of misdemeanors is a crucial distinction. Attorney’s real property management has no concern over either of the above cases because they aren’t criminal records against a person or property related to drug possession, use, or distribution, but that’s up to you to decide.
Denying an applicant
A candidate is denied if they don’t meet the minimum requirements. The tenant is not denied a tenancy if the offer to occupy is not accepted, including the move-in date.
It is critical to recognize this distinction. Upon approval, Attorney Real Property management gives applicants seven days to sign a lease. The unit will not be released if the seller wants them to hold it for 20 days. The unit will remain available as long as they can rent it.
The lease terms were denied by the applicant, not by them. The property must send an adverse action form indicating why they do not make an offer because they did not meet the minimum requirements. Additionally, they usually call or email the applicant, informing them of the Adverse Action, but they must mail it to the applicant by law. It will email to them as well as uploaded to their applicant’s file for their records.
Tenant Screening Best Practices Conclusion
In property management, tenant screening is the most important step. All the applicants should be treated fairly and must protect your asset. The ultimate best practice in tenant screening is to implement a clear, written policy every time and never wave from it.