Every landlord wants to find the right tenants for their rental property. The first step to doing so is to have a proper tenant screening process. Or so you might think. The statistics of many DIY landlords who choose to ignore negative results or not even pull background and credit checks on their potential tenants is staggering. Failure to properly screen tenants and to screen equally across the board can spell disaster for landlords. So why is tenant screening so important?
Proper Tenant Screening Protects You
Real Property Management actually conducted a survey that showed nearly 50% of DIY landlords don’t conduct a criminal background check. Only a little over 40% completed a sex offender registry check, and 23% said they never or rarely complete a credit check at all. Proper tenant screening protects you as the landlord in a number of ways. A thorough credit and rental history check can reveal a tenant’s payment habits. After all, dealing with a tenant who doesn’t pay is the same as not having a tenant at all; no rent is no rent. These checks can show if a prospective tenant was habitually late or didn’t pay, was evicted, or if they still owe money to another landlord or manager, all of which are huge red flags.
Proper Tenant Screening Protects Your Property
Your rental home is an important investment, one you want to be sure is taken care of. Conducting a thorough screening of a prospective renter’s background can often reveal any red flags that may pose a problem. Did they maintain their last rental or trash it? Do they have a history of violent offenses that may lead to property damage? All of these are questions that can be answered with proper vetting.
Proper Tenant Screening Across the Board
When it comes to tenant screening, it’s important to make sure to be fair across the board. Failure to follow federal and state laws when it comes to renting your home can have hefty penalties, so it’s important to know them. Federal Fair Housing prohibits discrimination of protected classes (race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, and national origin). Colorado also adds creed, sexual orientation, marital status and ancestry. And just this year, Denver added source of income and immigration status as well for all rentals in the city and county of Denver. This is where it’s important to have the same requirements for all applicants. If you don’t, you could land with a Federal Fair Housing violation which can come with steep penalties and high legal costs.
While you can’t screen for everything, it’s essential to complete a thorough check on what you can. Credit, criminal/sex offender, and rental history checks can weed out those who aren’t qualified to rent your home and put you one step closer to finding someone who is. This is where it’s key to have the right property management company on your side. Real Property Management Colorado has a thorough tenant screening process to help find qualified tenants for your property quickly while abiding by all state and federal laws. If you own a rental property and are tired of going it alone, give us a call at 303-873-RENT (7368) or at our website at www.303rent.com.