You are screening all the time.
Until you agree on the terms of the lease with your prospect, and have signatures of both parties on the agreement, you should be carefully evaluating the applicant . After you've completed all the steps of your tenant screening process, the final decision is made the moment the lease is finalized - when it is signed and all the required funds are paid.
I know it may seem harsh to kill a deal during or just before the lease signing, but I've been able to uncover disturbing knowledge about some prospects just before or during lease signings.
What do you do if you come to realize at the last minute that this is not the qualified tenant you thought you had for your rental property?
A: If this new knowledge is a deal breaker, you must for your own protection kill the deal.
How do you kill a deal?
There are 2 ways you can kill a rental deal at the last minute or during the lease signing.
1) The direct way. Confront the prospect with the information and explain that you can not proceed any further. or
2) Reschedule the appointment while you reconsider.
It is important to always do your best to eliminate the chance of renting to someone who is already showing you that you can expect problems from them.