Part of any tenant screening process is looking at rental history. The feedback of how a resident has preformed in the past is a great indicator of how they will preform in the future. When evaluating tenants for your investment property, make sure you're taking a close look at rental history and landlord references.
Every potential tenant that wants to live in your rental home should be required to submit an application. That application should also include a request for landlord references. Ask for contact information for landlords that cover at least the last 3 years (5 years is ideal). Get the landlords name, the address of where the potential tenant lived, the amount of time they lived there, the amount of rent that was paid and, the reason for leaving. Always ask for the phone number and email for that landlord, property manager, or apartment community.
Make sure to do a nationwide check for past evictions before you reach out to any landlord references. Most rental property owners will automatically disqualify any potential tenant with a recent eviction. If you would like to take the risk on a tenant who was evicted previously, that's okay-- but you still want to know about the eviction. Sometimes this will show up on a credit report, especially if money is still owed to the former landlord. However, it will not always show up on the report which is why it is so important to check the national eviction database.
We know the screening process can be time consuming, and you're anxious to get the tenant approved and placed in your investment property. However, it is worth it to take the time and call the provided references.
These landlords collected rent, responded to maintence requests, and answered questions for the tenant who may be moving into your property. They can provide a lot of useful information and help you decide whether or not this is an applicant you want to approve. We reccommend you ask:
Check the applicant's credit report against the application they submitted. If it looks like they lived at a specific address for 2 years and it's not listed on the application, you might want to do some investigating. This could mean they ended the relationship with that landlord badly. That is an important part of your potential tenant's rental history, so address any inconsistencies you find during the background and credit check.
Professional property managers can do a thorough job of screening tenants and vetting their rental history. We also make sure the screening process is completely compliant with all state, local and federal fair housing guidelines. If you'd like some help, please contact Perpetual Property Mangement!