Are You Being Picky Enough?

by Chris on June 20, 2011

A new rental market survey finds that vacancy rates are edging downward across the country.  That could mean landlords will be seeing more applicants vying for rental properties.  More applicants to choose from allows landlords to be even pickier about finding the right one.

But which applicant is right for you?

That boils down to two things: tenant-worthiness and credit-worthiness.

Tenant-Worthiness

Verifying tenant-worthiness requires looking into the applicant’s rental history to determine whether this tenant will behave in a way that is consistent with your rental property rules.

One easy way to test tenant-worthiness is to review the house rules for the property with the applicant. While you are doing this, note the individual’s reactions. A quiet tenant will likely be relieved that you enforce noise curfews.

Follow up by talking to the previous landlords to make sure the applicant is being honest.

Credit-Worthiness

A landlord has to ascertain the person possesses enough income to pay the rent. But sometimes landlords stop there, and wind up getting burned by an unscrupulous tenant. 

In addition to having sufficient income, the applicant must demonstrate financial responsibility. Even the wealthiest applicant can be burdened with too much debt, or suffer from bad credit–signs that they may leave owing you rent.

Running a tenant credit report is not only easy, it may be the only way for a landlord to discover whether an applicant is a bad risk before they move into a rental property.

It is important to have every applicant complete a rental application, and to ask for supporting documentation to prove income–unfortunately, you can’t always take their word for it.

Remember to run tenant credit checks on every applicant, no matter what your impression of the person may be.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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