Are you a Kalispell, Montana, landlord looking to protect your property portfolio from potential financial and legal headaches? Tenant screening is the protection you need, but this is not without its pitfalls.
You can do this independently, but it requires a certain level of knowledge and experience in property management and legal regulations. Using professional property management services might be the answer you're looking for.
In this article, we'll explore some common and costly tenant screening mistakes to avoid. Keep reading for great advice on dodging these pitfalls.
Neglecting Proof of Income
One of the biggest mistakes landlords make is overlooking the importance of verifying a tenant's proof of income. It's like getting on a rollercoaster without checking if the safety bar is secure-a risky move.
Without a steady income, tenants may struggle to meet rent obligations. This can put you in a tight spot. Make sure to request and verify proof of income, such as pay stubs or an employment contract, to confirm financial stability.
Overlooking Rental History
Past behavior is a good indicator of future actions. Don't skip the crucial step of checking a potential tenant's rental history. This can reveal much about their adherence to lease terms and how they've treated previous rental properties.
By overlooking this aspect, you might find unforeseen issues on your doorstep.
Forgetting Landlord References
Just as job applicants provide professional references, tenants should offer references from previous landlords. These references can provide useful insights into a tenant's:
Adherence to property rules
Ignoring this step might mean missing out on critical information that could save you from a troublesome tenant down the line.
Ignoring Credit History
Credit history is like a financial report card, and landlords should pay close attention.
Applicants' credit score reflects their financial responsibility and ability to manage debts. A poor credit history may indicate potential difficulties in meeting rent obligations. Don't skip this step-it's a key component of comprehensive tenant screening.
Overlooking Criminal Background Checks
Do not neglect to do a criminal background check. Pay attention to:
Type of offenses
Relevance to your rental agreement
The recency of offenses
Consistency with application information
These checks must be done according to applicable laws and regulations. Make sure you understand this. There must be a balance between ensuring a secure living environment and adhering to fair housing practices and legal requirements.
Rushing the Screening Process
In the hustle and bustle of property management, it's easy to rush through the tenant screening process. However, this haste can lead to overlooking important details.
Take the time to thoroughly review each application, ensuring that all required documents are provided and references are checked. A thorough screening process is an investment in the long-term success of your property.
Steering Clear of Costly Tenant Screening Mistakes
Tenant screening is not a step to be taken lightly. Making a mistake here can be challenging and costly down the line. Get a professional partner to share this responsibility and ensure the best outcome for all involved.
Look no further than PMI® Realty Management NW. We are part of a dynamic franchise that has been changing the property management industry for almost 20 years. Schedule a consultation today to see how we can help you!