5 Tenant Screening Tips That Will Help You Place the Best Tenant in Your Columbia Home

System - Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Finding the best Columbia tenants you possibly can is important to all landlords and rental property owners. The number one concern of most Columbia owners is the fear that they will rent out a home and their tenants will cause all sorts of damage, not pay on time, and just leave a huge mess to deal with. When you rent out a property, there is always a possibility that the worst-case scenario might land at your doorstep. But generally, that’s not the case. With some good tenant screening, you can reduce a lot of your risk.  

Criminal Background Check

One thing you can do is a criminal background check that lets you know if a potential tenant has a violent history. Be sure you follow HUD’s guidelines for criminal background checks and reference checks so you don’t deny an application inappropriately. 

Rental Reference Check

This is one of the most important things Columbia landlords can look at. References will tell you what a potential tenant has done in the past. Talk to current and former landlords about the tenant’s payment history and behavior. Make sure you verify that you are talking to the actual landlord or homeowner. Don’t take the resident’s word for it when you get a phone number. Make sure it’s the person who owns or manages the home. You can check tax records or look up the phone number. 

Eviction History

Checking a tenant’s eviction history is also critical. Most counties have free websites where you can put a tenant’s name into a database and see if the tenant has been evicted or had an eviction filed. This is a big red flag. If you have someone who has been filed on, that’s a huge problem. Stay away from that resident because they have been delinquent enough previously to cause that filing. 

Income Verification

Get income information and ask for pay stubs to verify the information provided by the tenant. Contact employers as well. Verify that the 
tenant works there, as how long they have been employed, and what their position is. Make sure they have enough income to cover the rent. Credit Report Look at the debt a tenant has so you can make sure that the income minus the debt still leaves enough to cover rent. 

These tips will help you choose a great tenant for your rental property. If you need any help avoiding a tenant default, or you’d like more information on Columbia property management, please contact us at Turner Properties.