Philippe Smith
Philippe Smith
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Tenant Screening Tips

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We are all familiar with the tenant screening process for Rental Properties. The landlord reviews the application and conducts an initial qualification check. Do they have sufficient rental experience, are they earning enough, are they able to pay their rent on time, have they had pets, how many people will be staying in the unit? Next, you need to check references (current landlord or job), pull credit, and do a criminal/civil court background check.

One thing I might do differently is I also screen the landlord! I verify that the landlord’s name is on the tax records. It’s not uncommon for bad tenants to give false information about their landlord. When I call the “landlord”, I ask them expected questions: Would you rent again to them? Why are they moving? How many times were they late paying? How many times were they late paying? I don’t ask them “if” but then it gets interesting. I will ask the landlord questions such as who is your Real Estate attorney and who your plumber is. I will ask the landlord questions that make it sound like I am searching for one.

You will be able to hear them stumble over the answers if they aren’t a landlord!

I ask the tenant to call me at least 30 minutes before I go to the unit to verify. My experience is that more than half of tenants won’t show up if they don’t call me when they’re on their way. They should call you when they say they’re on their way. Next, they must show up on-time. I will leave if they arrive more than five minutes late. They won’t be able to pay rent if they don’t arrive on time. The same applies to job interviews. A worker who shows up late for work will be treated as a headache. These are just a few of the things I have done that have helped me save a lot of time and aggravation over the years. I hope you find my knowledge useful.

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