Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tenant Screening Tips & Secrets

Tenant Screening Secret # 1

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.


  1. This is a great trade tip. What would you do if you live in an area with a high turnover rate (like a college town)? I imagine you wouldn't have time to do an extensive screen for each tenant. Are there little things you look for, or do you ever make exceptions?

    Edith |

    1. Thank you Edith.
      I've also been through this many times in the past with singles and college students too. ((Positive and some very negative experiences.)) We've had and still have properties near colleges in NY, including Hofstra University, Stony Brook University, SUNY Old Wesbury, SUNY Farrmingdale and others in Florida too (FGCU, Edison and Hodges)

      If a landlord were considering the rental to singles, especially college students, it would be a grave, foolish mistake to think that screening each co-tenant is a waste of time.

      We do our low priced credit screening through The Landlord Protection Agency's "Quick Check Credit Reports"

      Each person must be screened, even if they are young with no credit history established. I that is the case, I require their parents to qualify with good credit and cosign the lease agreement. The parents will suffer the same financial and credit reporting consequences if they or their children fail to hold up their agreement.
      This was learned through much trial and error. ;)

  2. It's so important to make sure you have responsible tenants. If they're able to keep the place clean and respected, you will be sure that your property will be in good shape. What property management strategies do you use?
    Celine |

  3. I'm just getting into real estate and renting out property and I'm attempting to anticipate all the situations that we might handle. I'm not one to be cruel and kick someone out of a home, but when they don't follow the lease, then they need to learn from their mistakes. Are there good agencies out there I can count on to screen my rental homes?