When you’re renting property, it’s only a matter of time before you encounter a problem tenant. If you’re lucky, that tenant won’t become a nightmare, but you’ll still wish you’d screened them a little differently in the beginning.
When you’re screening first fully consider what’s at stake:
- unpaid rent
- property damage
- legal bills
- court fees
- and your own mental health
Now, train yourself to spot these red flags and save yourself the sleepless night and thousands of dollars that come from renting to a problem tenant.
- Do they have a problem with paying for a background check? It’s your right to charge a rental application fee that will cover a professional background check. Do it and weed out the people who don’t want to comply.
- Do they have a problem with you talking to their current or former employers? Talking to employers isn’t only a method for confirming income. They may be limited in what they can legally say to a prospective landlord, but it’s worth your time to question the type of employee they are. Their performance as an employee will tell you a lot about their suitability as a tenant as well.
- What kind of debt do they have? Who would you prefer to rent to? Someone with $20K debt for student loans and a car, or someone with $20K in consumer credit card debt? While their credit score can tell you a lot, it’s also worth investigating the type of debt they have to know how savvy they are financially
- Do they have a problem with you talking to former landlords? You NEED to do this part of your due diligence, because anyone who has a history of inflicting property damage or missed payments is not worth your time.
Next, partner with a reliable screening provider like VICTIG to find the perfect tenants for your property.