Property Management Blog

6 Common Tenant Screening Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Maria Napolitano - Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Did you know the cost of evicting a tenant can be as high as $2,500 if you involve a lawyer? That’s a huge amount of money that you could have invested somewhere else.

A thorough tenant screening can save you from costly evictions. Tenant screening is a necessary process that helps you determine which tenant to approve. Thorough tenant screening gives you access to the credit and eviction history of a tenant.

But tenant screening can only be successful when done right. When you skip tenant screening entirely or make simple tenant screening mistakes, you will choose the wrong tenant.

Read on to discover the 6 common tenant screening mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Getting the Wrong Tenant Documents

Landlords, at times, might be under pressure to fill a vacant house. Chances are they will focus on tenants’ ability to pay the rent only.

This means they will focus on eviction reports and credit history. Leaving out other crucial tenant screening documents such as a law report and criminal record check.

Leasing your property to a criminal is endangering the safety of other people within the property. Furthermore, if a tenant turns out to be a criminal, you might be forced to go through the costly eviction process.

Therefore, when screening rental applicants, ensure they have a tenant law report, criminal record check, and eviction check.

2. Choosing Inaccurate Tenant Screening Services

Not all tenant screening companies are after offering reliable services to their clients. Some might offer shoddy tenant screening services to make money. Hiring the wrong tenant screening services leads to the approval of the wrong tenants.

Therefore, before hiring a tenant screening company, carry out some research. Ensure they are licensed, insured, and experienced.

3. Not Screening the Co-applicants

Most landlords focus on screening the main applicant, forgetting that co-applicants can move out, leaving the main applicant with the burden of paying the full rent. If the left applicant is stubborn, you might be forced through the eviction process.

Therefore, before leasing property, ensure the co-applicant avails of their credit report, criminal record, and eviction history.

4. Not Complying With Housing Laws

There are fair housing laws that have been put into place to protect tenants from discrimination. If you fail to comply with such laws, you might end up with a lawsuit on your hands.

Therefore, before screening a potential tenant, check the fair housing laws in your area.

5. Not Verifying Employment History

Most of the employees are likely to make their rental payments from employment income. If you lease your property to a person with no stable income, chances are they might find it hard to pay rent on time.

Therefore, before renting your property, request an employment history from the tenant. Ensure the gross income of the tenant is at least three times the rent.

6. Not Reading the Credit Report

During the tenant screening process, chances are a tenant will have all the rental deposits. This might fool you into thinking the tenant can always pay the rent on time. Only to be forced to evict the tenant in the future.

To avoid leasing property to the wrong tenant, ensure to read the credit report. A tenant with a good credit score is likely to pay rent on time consistently.

Avoid the Above Common Tenant Screening Mistakes

A successful tenant screening helps you pick the right tenant and saves you money. However, you might have to deal with future costly evictions if you make tenant screening mistakes.

Are you looking for tenant screening services in Kissimmee, Florida? At Allegiant Management Group, we've got you covered.

We thoroughly assess the entire applicant, evaluating any potential risk and determining their capacity to pay the rent and maintain the property. This method has turned out to be exceptionally effective.

Contact us today to book an appointment.