Tenant Screening

Landlord’s Guide to Tenant Screening

Landlord's Guide to Tenant Screening

What you’re looking for is going to depend on where you’re at in the tenant screening process.

This guide is designed to allow you to skip ahead to where you are at in the process of filling your vacant rental.

If you’re searching for tenant screening services we’d recommend you check out our packages page that breaks down our available services.

If you’ve never looked at a tenant screening report and you’re unsure of what a rental background check consists of, we’d recommend to check out this resource.

Finally, if you’re brand new to being a landlord or screening tenants, we’d recommend you start with chapter one and work your way through this entire guide.

A table of contents for tenant screening:

  1.   Creating a tenant screening checklist
  2.   Understanding tenant screening laws
  3.   Forming tenant screening criteria
  4.   Advertising your rental
  5.   Questions to ask potential renters
  6.   Showing your rental property
  7.   Free rental application form
  8.   What does a rental background check consist of?
  9.   5 problems with tenant screening services
  10.   Setting up a new tenant

Before we get started, you might be wondering…

What is RentPrep?

Simply put, we are a national tenant screening service located in West Seneca, NY. We’ve been in business since 2007 and have serviced over 36,000 clients nationwide.

Our goal is to educate and empower landlords and property managers to help protect their investments.

We do this through a community-driven approach.

Here’s a video that includes plenty of helpful comments from fellow real estate investors such as yourself.

We asked viewers to leave their best tip on screening tenants. You can learn quite a bit from those comments.

Yes, this video is a little goofy (we try and keep it entertaining here) but screening a tenant is a serious job that will help you protect your investments.

Here are some helpful comments from that post:

Tenant Screening Tip

Kim manages over 1,000 rentals in Central Florida and is the current President of the Florida Chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM).

Tenant Screening Tip Dan Lane

Dan is the host of the Rental Income Podcast and appeared on episode 153 of the RentPrep for Landlords podcast. We have a tenant screening criteria template waiting for you in Chapter 3 of this guide.

Tenant Screening Tip Andrew Schultz

Andrew is an Associate Broker (property manager designation in NYS) and he brings up a good point on verification calls. Asking open-ended questions is a good way to catch applicants who provide fake information on their applications.

You can Google “(your county) property records” to see if there is an online database of property records. Some counties will not charge you to access it and you can look up the records of the current and previous landlord listed on the application to see if the names match.

tenant screening reportsWhat is tenant screening?

Tenant screening is a repeatable process for finding the best renter for your rental. It starts with qualifying your screening criteria and then generating interest in your rental. Then, you can begin systematically weeding out unqualified renters until you find the very best fit for your property.

Not everyone has a tenant screening process in place.

Our comic strip below shows the wide disparity between two landlords and their approach to tenant screening.

tenant-screening 2

Laura is going to be your guide throughout this tenant screening course.

If we could sum up tenant screening with one quote, it would be this…

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Tenant screening is not about immediate gratification, and that’s why some landlords have a tough time mastering it.

Think of tenant screening like maintaining a vehicle.

If you get regular maintenance and oil changes you’re likely to pay less in the long-run with that vehicle.

If you take the time to do tenant screening the right way…

… you’re going to have fewer frustrations and headaches in the long-run.

How to create a tenant screening process

This tenant screening tutorial is designed to show you how to properly screen tenants so you can sleep easy at night. The more emphasis you place on screening tenants, the easier it’s going to be to manage your rentals.

Let’s get started…

What You’ll Learntenant screening reports

tenant screening process

 

The Venn diagram is a simplification of the tenant screening process.

However, it acts as an excellent visual of what this course will cover.

We will get to this process once we cover the overall checklist and touch upon tenant screening laws.

Like most things… the more you run through this process, the easier it gets.

Let’s get started…