A lot of landlords ask us about the best way to prevent evictions. The number one thing you can do to avoid having to evict a tenant is to perform a good tenant screening. Today, we're going to tell you how we do that at Property Management Experts.
Have each applicant fill out an application and pay an application fee. The purpose of the application fee is to make sure it's a tenant who is serious about renting the property. You don't want to spend your time on someone who is filling out applications all over the place. Once you have the application, you need to check credit, check for a criminal background and check for an eviction history.
You also want to check work references. Ask for copies of paycheck stubs that go back for three months. Don't be satisfied with paystubs from only the last week or two. It's hard to make up three months worth of paystubs. You also want to call the employer and instead of talking to the buddy, who might happen to answer the phone, ask to be directed to the Human Resources Department. Verify that the tenant is in fact employed at the company and ask how much that tenant earns, so you can check it against what is written on the application. It's very important to make sure you're talking to the right person.
Check rental references as well. We get at least two years of landlord references, and we've found that talking to the landlord from two years ago is usually the best way to get the most accurate information. You can find out how the tenant left the property, whether rent was paid on time and if the security deposit was returned. These landlords have nothing to lose, and they will be very helpful in putting together a picture of what kind of tenant you're getting. You also want to make sure you're getting rental references from the right person. We check public records to make sure we're talking to the property owner. Unfortunately, renters can give you misleading information if they are hiding a poor rental history.
It's harder to get someone out of your property than it is to put someone into your property. Make sure you get the right tenant so you won't have to evict later on. The best way to do this is through a proper tenant screening. If you have any questions, or need more information on great tenant screening practices, please contact us at Property Management Experts.