Questions to consider when screening renters

Screening Tenants ImageWhether you’re leasing an apartment or renting out office space, your job is to fill the openings with tenants that will help you maintain your investment and avoid potential liabilities. If you suspect a potential renter will not pay on time or will cause excessive damage to the property, you have to do what’s in your best interest to protect your assets, and find another candidate. Here are some things to consider when looking for tenants for your property or complex. Who are their previous employers and landlords? When you’re looking for a renter, you want to put your property in the hands of someone you can trust. Contacting a candidate’s previous employers and landlords — not just the most recent one — can give you a good picture of the kind of person you would be renting to. Is that person reliable? Honest and trustworthy? Can they be trusted to make payments on time? (If contacting a previous employer, a good alternate question would be, “Can they be trusted to meet deadlines?” If yes, it indicates that the candidate takes other people’s time and money seriously.) Unfortunately, just as with job applications, not every potential renter will be completely honest on the rental application. This is why you should not only rely on contacting the current landlord; if he or she is desperate to get the tenant off their property, they may be willing to lie just to get rid of their own liability. How does their credit look? You will have to get permission from a potential renter to look up a credit report, but this documentation can give you a good picture of the candidate’s payment history. It can tell you if they’ve fallen behind on payments in the past, if they have anything tied up in court cases, and if they’ve declared bankruptcy in recent years. None of these things are necessarily absolute deal-breakers, but you will want to keep them in mind when considering the application. Do they have a criminal history? You cannot discriminate against a candidate just because they have a criminal record; however, depending on where your facility, rental home or apartment complex is, you do need to be aware of it, especially if a candidate is a sex offender, or is on the sex offender registry. Sex offenders must not take up residence within certain areas near schools and other facilities where children may be present, even if the crime was not against a child. Because these checks can be extensive — especially if a potential renter is coming from another state — it may be beneficial to work with a background screening service to ensure you have all the proper documentation to safely make a decision. For more information about what Mind Your Business can do for you, contact us today.]]>

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