After a few weeks on the market, you finally found a tenant for your rental property. Because it’s been sitting vacant for more than a month, you decide against the tenant screening service you normally use. The information on the application seems good, and the one reference you contacted vouched for the applicant. Everything should be just fine. Right?
Fast forward a few months.
You haven’t received the rent on time since the tenant moved in and now it looks like you won’t receive this month’s rent at all. Your old neighbor called to let you know that the yard looks horrible and there’s suspicion of drug activity going on in your property. You remember reading somewhere that if a crime is committed in your property, you might be found liable for it.
You’re out the rent money. You’ll have to pay to deal with the eviction and there’s no telling how much damage has been done to the property. Once you get the tenant out, it will sit vacant and produce zero income until you’re able to fix it up, get it back on the market, and find a better tenant.
This scenario plays out every single day with landlords across the country, but it doesn’t have to.
Tenant screening saves you time and money.
Checking a tenant’s credit score lets you know if they consistently pay their bills on time. You may decide to rent to someone with a poor credit history due to the circumstances surrounding their late payments or bad debt – medical problems, divorce, or more. Knowing their financial history lets you decide if you should charge a higher deposit or move on to the next tenant.
Eviction history information may come from just your state or you can check nationwide, but it’s invaluable to know before you approve a new tenant. There’s no guarantee that your tenant won’t need to be evicted even with a spotless history, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You can save yourself the time and cost of the eviction process by checking a tenant’s history and making the decision whether to rent to them or not.
If a crime is committed in your rental property, criminal charges could be brought against you. As a landlord, you also have an obligation to the neighborhood where your property is located to help keep it safe. A criminal background check, as well as checking the terrorist watch list and the sex offender registry list let you know ahead of time if you’re dealing with a dangerous felon or someone who simply made a youthful mistake. There isn’t enough money or time that can make up for a horrific crime being committed in your neighborhood or property simply because you didn’t have a criminal background check done.
Verification of Personal Information
This may sound basic, but you need to know if your tenant is who they say they are. Using a tenant screening to simply help verify their information may save you time and money as well as prevent further identity theft or other criminal acts. It’s likely that if someone lies about their basic information, their financial, eviction, and criminal histories may be spotty as well.
It may seem to be quicker and cheaper to skip the tenant screening with a new tenant. You need your property to produce income and for that you need a tenant. Screening protects you and your property as well as giving you peace of mind about who you’re renting to. Save yourself time, money, and headaches and screen all prospective tenants.