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Tenant Screening: Everything Professional Property Managers Need to Know


There is no denying that the success and failure of a property depend upon your tenants. Even the 80/20 landlord relationship says that 20% of  tenants are responsible for 80% of landlord grievances.

So as a professional property manager, one of your main roles includes proper tenant screening. Tenant screening is an important part of a risk-based approach that includes looking into an individual’s background before the real estate transaction occurs.

Moreover, it is the only way to ensure that they will treat their property as their own and also pay rent on time. So to maintain the proper standards and laws, here is how you can go around the screening process.

Start by checking their rental history

When it comes to renting the property, your main objective should be to check and confirm their rental history is accurate according to their application.

Rental history gives you an idea of a tenant’s reliability and credibility. Moreover, it will also tell you about how the tenant has been with the landlord. Not only should you contact the current one, but check details from previous ones as well.


Set your standards upfront 

When you start reviewing the tenants as an expert property manager, set a proper application process.

For instance- you might admire tenants who have a credit score below 500, or you won’t prefer someone who has pets. Keep those standards in place and screen the tenants according to them.

It will help you eliminate the candidates that won’t fit your criteria and will also streamline the process.


Confirm tenants credit and income report

If you want zero delays when it comes to rental payments, look out for their income and credit report. 

Someone’s income might look great on a paper, but you should check their past reports, credit to debt ratios, verify income with bank statements, and also give their employer a call. These reports indicate the financial status of a tenant and also reveal signs of financial distress if any.


Background and criminal report checks 

Background and criminal reports give you an opportunity to collect the tenant's details about their current and past behaviours and more. You can also refer to the local courts, district, superior, and magistrate court to confirm the reports.


Have a proper checklist

The tenant screening process can be informal as well. Being an expert property manager, you can have a checklist of questions to gather and create an analysis on the tenants. The main aim of this process is to have a clear plan and conditions so that your property stays in the best of its condition.

After you have checked all the applications, its time you take your decision. Now review all your rules together, get an understanding of their expectations and make sure he understands his full responsibilities. And to perform all these steps, the process of Tenant screening is one of the one of the best property management tips to proceed.

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Topics: Property Services, Property Management Advice, Property Advice

Jon Stul

Written by Jon Stul

Having spent over 12 years in the real estate industry covering all facets from residential through to commercial, established and off plan properties and sub-divisions, he has an in depth knowledge of the industry. Stepping out of the industry four years ago and moving interstate to expand a frozen yoghurt chain that has gone from 1 to 4 stores in the time he has been involved. This was recently sold to Made Group. Real estate has always been in his blood and it was a natural fit to start Bricks + Agent given the amount of insight he has into the industry as a whole. Having seen how all different forms of traditional marketing was used to the direction that it is now heading today, we think we have come up with a truly unique proposition that fits into the current state of the property maintenance market.

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