How to Screen Tenants for Your Rental Property


It is the wish of every landlord to have his/her properties occupied by tenants all the time. However, landlords have the responsibility of ensuring they have reliable tenants who will pay rent on time and cause no trouble.

The following are six basic tips on how to screen tenants for your rental property so that you can accept only the reliable ones.

1. Start by Requesting for an Application

The first thing to do when screening tenants are to ask all potential tenants to submit an application explaining why you should rent them your property. This will give you a prior insight on whom to invite for further screening. By doing so, you get an opportunity to know about the background information of every prospective tenant. Some of the details that you should look for in the application includes what the applicant does for a living, whether he or she is single or with a family, the size of the family and other details that may help you to determine whether the applicant fits for your property.

2. Check Credit Worth and Ability to Pay Rent on Time

Credit Card

It can be very problematic if you accept a tenant in your property without checking whether they are capable of paying rent on time. As a landlord, it is important to make sure those occupying your properties are able to pay rent on time so that you can have minimal cases of rent arrears and defaulters. It is therefore important to make sure the person you are accepting in your rental house is indeed capable of paying for it. Otherwise, you will have to run after tenants every end month so that they can pay rent.

3. Check and Confirm the Background History of the Applicant

As a property owner, it is very important to know the background history of a potential tenant before accepting him/her in your property. This is the only way you can be sure your tenants are not criminals and they are not involved in any illegal dealings. By doing so, you are able to enhance the safety of your properties, the safety of your other tenants and avoid getting into trouble with law enforcers.

4. Ask for Recommendation From Previous Landlords

It is very important to ask prospective tenants to bring recommendation letters from their previous immediate landlord before accepting them in your properties. The letter will help you to know why the tenant left the other property, whether he/she had problems paying rent and if the previous landlord evicted the tenant. This can also help you verify some of the information listed by in their tenancy application letters.

5. Contact the Employer of a Prospective Tenant

Sometimes it could be difficult to contact the previous landlord of a prospective tenant, especially when a person is coming from a different country. On the other hand, it could the first time for the person to rent and there is no previous landlord to contact. In such incidences, it is important to contact the tenant’s employer so that you can obtain some background information to use in the screening process.

6. Arrange for an Interview With The Applicant


Once you have identified a potential tenant through the above screening procedures, the last step is to arrange for an interview with them so that you can sum up the screening process before accepting the applicant into your property. The interview should also serve as the platform for the tenant to sign the tenancy agreement before occupying the property.