The rental market is experiencing low vacancies, and that is generally good news for rental property owners.
Low vacancy rates signal that rentals are in higher demand, and landlords can expect to see more applicants competing for available rental housing.
Unfortunately for landlords, that increased interest does not make their job any easier.
An influx of applicants does not mean an increase in qualified renters. Conversely, a tight market requires even greater scrutiny of rental applicants, as mediocre tenants become more inclined to push the limits in order to find a place to live.
That desperation can spark everything from flat-out fraud, to hedging on information necessary for a landlord to determine if the applicant is a good fit for the property.
Now more than ever, landlords need to adopt a protocol for identifying qualified tenants, and turning away those who are more likely to damage the property or skip out owing rent once they discover they are in over their heads.
The best screening practices begin with a healthy image of the “ideal” tenant. This person will not be of a specific gender, age, career or lifestyle, but will be someone with verifiable income sufficient for the property, who can provide evidence of financial responsibility, and a good rental history.
Increased interest in a property can prompt a landlord to cut corners on tenant screening, at a time when they are being confronted with applicants who simply can’t afford the rent, or are hiding marks on their credit and rental history.
The result is income loss and unexpected vacancies at a time when things should be looking up for landlords.
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).
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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.