It might surprise you to learn that houses in the United States now cost over $350,000 on average. As a result, it’s become more difficult than ever before for first-time homebuyers to find a place of their own.
Those who currently own property, though, will likely find that their home is worth exponentially more than what they purchased it for. For this reason, many people are now choosing to rent out houses they own to tenants.
Every property manager needs to know about the available screening tools, but not everybody knows where to start.
We’ve created a brief guide that can help you avoid common issues. Let’s dive into everything you need to know about the management screening process.
Eviction History Screening
One of the most important aspects of screening your tenants is checking their eviction history. This will give you a good idea of whether or not they are likely to cause problems in the future. Even a single incident where you neglect this information could cost you a lot of money in the long run, so make sure you prioritize it!
Another important element of screening tenants is checking their credit scores. This will give you an idea of their financial stability and whether or not they are likely to make timely rent payments.
Credit scores are often used in combination with other factors to determine a tenant’s eligibility. Regardless, it’s crucial that you take it into consideration.
This could go a long way toward determining how financially reliable your renters will be.
Criminal Background Check
You’ll also want to run a background check on your potential tenants. This will help you verify their identity and ensure that they don’t have any criminal convictions in their past.
While this information is public, it can be difficult to track down on your own. Although not everyone with a past conviction will prove to be an issue, it’s often recommended to disqualify tenants who do not pass a background check. Not only could this cause a problem for you as a landlord, but it could also put the surrounding community at risk.
Fortunately, there are plenty of services that can help you with this due to how essential this type of screening is.
Integrated Property Management Software
As you might guess, it’s crucial that you use software that allows you to seamlessly manage all of your properties and tenants.
This software should have a centralized database where you can input all of your data and access it easily. By using comprehensive software like this, you will be able to see all of the essential tenant information in a single location. For instance, high-quality software should have a dashboard that allows you to view which checks your tenants passed.
You can then make your decision based on this data, allowing you to save plenty of time during the process. Additionally, the best property management software will offer features like online applications and payments, automatic rent collection, and maintenance requests.
These features will make your life as a property manager much easier and will help you keep your properties in top condition. Be sure that you keep this in mind when moving forward.
What Are Common Tenant Screening Mistakes Landlords Make?
One of the most common mistakes is failing to check the above criteria. Foregoing even one of these factors could leave you with a suboptimal tenant experience.
However, many landlords also neglect to use the ideal software for tenant screening. When searching for a program to use, be sure to consider the reputation of the developer. A quick Google search can provide insight into how past customers feel about a particular software.
Additionally, make sure that the software offers a centralized database and user-friendly interface. If the software is not intuitive, you will not be able to get the most out of it.
What Red Flags Should I Watch Out For?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that you should avoid software that has a negative reputation.
However, you should also be wary of programs that do not have features that are able to meet your needs. For instance, there may be screening software out there that offers credit check capabilities but is not able to run a comprehensive background check.
A situation you want to avoid is paying for software only to discover that you aren’t able to get your money’s worth.
Customer service is another attribute that you need to be aware of. Inevitably, you will likely encounter situations where you need guidance from the software provider.
If it is not easy for you to get in touch with them, you’ll need to resolve the problems on your own. Depending on the situation, this could be difficult or impossible. Regardless, it will cost you extra time to do so without help from a professional.
What Are Other Key Features I Should Consider?
In addition to the above, you should also look for software that allows you to create and provide rental applications through tenants. This will help make the renting process much easier for everyone involved.
Of course, you should only ever use software that has a sufficient level of security. Unfortunately, the cybercrime industry is projected to be worth over $10 trillion by the beginning of 2030.
Some of the most lucrative targets for hackers are individuals and businesses that deal with tenant data. Even a single data breach could cause a large number of issues, and you could face legal complications in the future if you do not go out of your way to protect this sensitive information.
Every Property Manager Needs the Above Tools
It might seem difficult at first to integrate these property manager tools, but it’s easier than you might expect it to be. Ensure that you keep the above guidelines in mind so you can avoid problems you may have encountered.
Want to learn more about what we have to offer? Feel free to get in touch with us at RentSafe today to see how we can help you with your tenant screening needs.