Knowing how to screen a tenant is a critical part of managing a rental property, and we have been successful with placing good tenants in the properties we manage. We start with a written set criteria which is noted on all our listings and on our website. So, when someone finds our listings through one of the sites we advertise on, it will usually state what the requirements are to be approved for a property.
Rental RequirementsOur tenant screening requirements are very standard. We look for income to be at least three times the rent and verifiable. So, if the applicant is working under the table or not reporting income or mom and dad give them $1,500 in cash every month, that’s not going to count. It needs to be verifiable. If it’s court ordered child support, we need to see documentation. The entire household together needs to meet the income requirement. So, if there are two adults applying, the combined income needs to be at least three times the rent. We also look at credit. Everyone’s credit is different, so it’s hard to determine what the score should be. Scores are set depending on the open lines of credit that the applicants have. Generally we look for a credit report that reflects an overall positive score of 80% of total credit. Keep in mind, however, that someone with otherwise good credit might have a medical bills, causing their score to plummet. So, we don’t go by the scores too much. Instead, we look at the full report.
Rental History and Background CheckWe do ask that the credit is in good standing and we also look at two years of rental history or home ownership. There’s a lot of tricks to the trade as far as conducting checks and tenant verification. You need to make sure the tenant is telling you true statements. There are lots of things we do to check, and that knowledge comes with experience. If you’re in property management long enough, you’re accustomed to verifying information and checking every box. We have good luck with screening and our eviction rate is next to none.
Multiple ApplicantsMany times, we have several people interested in the same property. To make it fair, we use a first come basis. Whoever applies first and is qualified will get the property. We require all adult tenants to fill out an application, so the application isn’t complete until everyone who will be living in the unit applies. That’s when we begin screening, and the first completed application file gets the property if the tenants are qualified.
These are the best ways to manage your tenant screening process. If you have any questions, please contact us at Residential Equity Management. We’d love to tell you more about property management in Folsom, Sacramento or the surrounding area.