Thursday, November 5, 2015

How to Screen Tenants for Your Rental Property


Maintaining a rental property shouldn't be hard work. The key is choosing upstanding tenants who pay rent on time and keep your property in good condition. See to the following tips for screening the right tenants for your rental.

1. Establish the ground rules, eg. no smoking within the premises, no pets allowed, the maximum number of people allowed to live in the property, the minimum length of term, etc. Indicate the rules in your advertisements and make sure applicants understand and agree to the rules. 

2. Pre-screen the applicants with an application form. Have them indicate their full name, contact details, occupation, office address and phone number, their reason for moving, their target date for moving in, and the number of people moving with them and their relationship to the applicant. Ask for at least one character reference such as a previous landlord or a work colleague or superior.

3. Ask for a valid ID, proof of income, NBI clearance, bio-data or resume, and other documents to verify the applicant's identity, civic standing, and his ability to pay on time.

4. Perform a background check on the applicant. If you can’t hire a professional service to do so, look into the applicant’s social media accounts. In today’s digital landscape, employers look to the same methods. According to the Huffington Post, 37% of hiring managers use Facebook to pre-screen job applicants in the United States.

5. Get to know the applicant in person through an interview. Get a feel for his personality and whether you can establish a good tenant-landlord relationship with him. It's also a chance to talk in depth about the property and the details of the lease.

6. Should you have to decline the application, do so through a polite letter.

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